Congressional cuts could derail commuter tax benefit for LIRR riders

Commuters who take the Long Island Rail Road are hoping a federal program that helps them save money on fares isn't terminated. The Federal Mass

Commuters who take the Long Island Rail Road are hoping a federal program that helps them save money on fares isn't terminated.

Commuters who take the Long Island Rail Road are hoping a federal program that helps them save money on fares isn't terminated. (11/11/13)

MINEOLA - Commuters who take the Long Island Rail Road are hoping a federal program that helps them save money on fares isn't terminated.

The Federal Mass Transit Tax Benefit saves many commuters hundreds of dollars per year. The program allows people whose employers are enrolled to pay for their monthly commutes using as much as $242 in pre-tax dollars.

Sen. Charles Schumer says that over the past year, 700,000 commuters saved more than $330 million through the benefit. But it's set to expire on Dec. 31, and if it doesn't get extended before then, the program could be cut in half by Congress.

Schumer was in Mineola today to detail a plan for legislation that would extend the benefit. The senator adds that he would like to encourage Congress to make the tax benefit permanent or have it expire every two years, instead of every year.

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