U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) recently urged mass-transit commuters to reap the rewards of the mass-transit tax benefit that was strengthened and made permanent by Congress in 2015.
This tax-free benefit for qualifying mass-transit users could generate up to $1,000 per year in state and federal tax savings for these commuters.
In 2015, Congress approved a bill that permanently increases the commuter-tax benefit specifically for people using mass transit. This restores parity between parking benefits for commuters who drive to work and employer-provided transit benefits.
The tax-break extenders originally expired in 2014. At that time, maximum monthly tax exclusion for transit benefits from employers declined to $130. Parking benefits stayed steady at $250.
“This renewed – and improved – tax provision will help make commuting more affordable for thousands of Illinoisans,” Durbin said. “This program is a win-win for employers and employees, and offers significant environmental benefits as well. I encourage more employers to offer this program, and commuters who have access to the benefit to take full advantage of it. As transit-ridership levels continue to hit record levels across the country, I’ll continue to work to make Illinois’ mass transit more affordable and reliable for all people."
The benefits are designed to encourage commuters to use mass transit instead of driving to work, reducing traffic congestion and pollution.