LIRR riders could see tax deduction shrink in 2012

WYANDANCH - Long Island commuters who have been enjoying a tax break when paying for train tickets could lose that advantage in the new year.

Currently, Long Island Rail Road riders can deduct up to $230 a month thanks to the commuter pre-tax benefit.

In 2012, however, the deduction will drop to just $125, unless the U.S. Congress extends the higher deduction. For commuters, it could mean a loss of $1,000 a year.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) blames rural Republicans who he says aren't interested in commuters, but are courting big business.

However, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) says he and many other GOP members are fighting to restore the benefit for commuters.

"It's a tough fight because New York and the Northeast are really not that popular with the rest of the country," he says.

Commuters who use Transit Check or Wage Works will be impacted by the reduction in the pre-tax benefit if the Congress fails to act before Jan. 1.

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