Important 2012 Transit Benefit Information

December 27, 2011

Dear TranBen friends & clients,

On January 1st, 2012, the maximum level of transit fringe benefit will drop from its current level of $230.00 per month to its previous level (adjusted for inflation) of $125.00 per month.  Until Congress determines that the transit fringe benefit should again be on par with the parking fringe benefit (slated to increase to $240.00 on January 1st, 2012), we recommend that all transit voucher orders beginning January 1st, 2012 reflect the $125.00 per month maximum for transit benefits and $240.00 for parking, if needed. 

We invite you and your employees to join TranBen in contacting our respective Congressional delegations (links below), especially members of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee, and urge them to extend or make permanent the parity of transit fringe benefits with parking fringe benefits.

The following are excerpts from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), of which TranBen is a member: 

APTA Press Release
Failure to Extend Transit Commuter Benefits Favors Drivers over Public Transit Riders

APTA officials say public transit riders should tell Congress to support the commuter transit benefit in any tax proposal passed before the end of the year.  In addition, for the long term, riders should encourage Congress to support Representative Jim McGovern’s (D-MA) legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer’s (D-NY) legislation on the Senate side to permanently extend parity for this benefit.  To contact your representative http://capwiz.com/napta/home/

Note, the direct link for taking action in composing an email or letter to your Congressional representatives is

http://capwiz.com/napta/issues/alert/?alertid=57543501&PROCESS=Take+Action

Legislative Update: Excerpted from a 12/21/2011 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Legislative Alert

Senate Passes Tax Package Without Transit Benefits Or Alternative Fuel Tax Credits; No Vote On Measure In The House  

This past weekend, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (89-10) to pass a temporary, compromise bill extending the current payroll tax rate and unemployment insurance until the end of February 2012. Despite collective advocacy efforts, the bill does not include extensions of transit fringe benefits or the alternative fuel tax credit. 

The House of Representatives had previously passed on December 13th a one-year extension of the current payroll tax rate and unemployment insurance benefits and the Medicare “doc-fix” which also did not include either of the transit related provisions. Yesterday, the House opted not to hold a direct, up or down, floor vote on the temporary Senate measure but rather voted (229-193) to move the Senate package immediately to a House-Senate conference. This move leaves the final disposition of the end of year tax bill unresolved. While Congress could return this year to reconcile their differences on the tax bill, it appears unlikely that they will deal with the transit commuter benefit and alternative fuel tax credit by January 1 when they expire. APTA intends to continue to work on these issues in an effort to see them extended early in 2012. 

Note: The House has since passed its bill, which also does not include extensions of the transit fringe benefit.

Feel free to pass along this the email to your employees to make them aware of potential changes in their transit benefits and to ask for their support in contacting members of Congress as well, if interested.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause any of you and your employees. It was our sincere hope that this would be extended another year, as it was done late last December for 2011. We are hopeful that as of a result of this decrease and widening disparity between transit and parking, parity will be restored and even be made permanent in the early new year. We will send out an additional email as a reminder of this change, and then ongoing if any additional changes occur come January forward.

Please contact us with any additional questions at info@tranben.com

Sincerely,

Jeremy S. Brollier
President
TranBen, Ltd.
877-5-TRNBEN
www.tranben.com

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Additional Information: For questions or assistance, please call us at 877-587-6236 or email us at support@tranben.com.