Tell Albany to Give Transit Riders the Break They Deserve!
Before January 1, 2012, America’s transit riders were eligible for the same $230 per month tax benefit as drivers. But because Congress failed to act, the transit commuter tax benefit plunged to $125 per month, while the tax break for parking rose to $240.
For a lot of New Yorkers, that tax break was essential. Many Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road riders spend more than $125 per month on commuting costs, and in New York City, express bus commuters typically spend at least $200 per month. And it’s not just a downstate thing—workers across the state use this benefit to ease their commuting costs.
But it’s not all financial. An incentive to take transit (and leave the car at home) helps to:
- Reduce congestion on New York’s roads;
- Make our communities cleaner, less polluted places; and
- Create a culture of sustainability.
While Washington has yet to make the transit commuter tax benefit equal to the parking benefit, a bill that would restore the benefit for New York’s income taxes has passed the New York State Senate—but it’s currently stuck in the Assembly. Call Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Ways and Means Committee Chair Herman Farrell, Jr. and tell them to give New York transit riders the break they deserve! Below, we’ve listed their telephone numbers and provided a phone script, but feel free to personalize it. After you’ve called up Albany, use the form below to let us know how it went!
Contact Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: 518-455-3791
Contact Ways and Means Chair Herman Farrell, Jr.: 518-455-5491
Hello, my name is [NAME], and I am from [PLACE]. I’m calling to urge your support for A6175-B, a bill that would restore the transit commuter benefit on New York State’s income taxes.
Before January 1, 2012, America’s transit riders were eligible for the same $230 per month tax benefit as drivers, but the federal transit tax benefit has plunged to $125 per month. Countless New Yorkers [, INCLUDING MYSELF,] relied on this tax break to help make ends meet in a tough economy. It also provided a comparable tax incentive for people to take public transit, which reduced congestion, lessened pollution, and saved commuters money.
While Albany can’t change federal policy, it can reinstate the transit commuter tax benefit on the state level. The New York State Senate has already passed a bill that does just that, and the Assembly must do the same.
Send Us an Email to Tell Us How It Went
Fill out the form below to send us a message that lets us know how the elected officials responded. Form not working? Send an email to sam [at] tstc.org.