A mass transit tax break that saves over hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers $1,000-a-year each in commuting costs is set to expire at the end of the year.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, standing beneath the famous timepiece in Grand Central Terminal Monday, called on Congress to extend the benefit before Jan. 1, vowing to withhold his support for a host of additional tax extenders if the program for mass transit failed to pass.
"New York commuters need every break they can get," Mr. Schumer said.
The current benefit allows commuters to spend up to $245 per month of their pre-tax earnings on mass transit and commuter costs like parking. Over the last year, approximately 700,000 New York residents saved over $330 million through this benefit. More than 2.7 million commuters use the tax break nationwide.
"$330 million is a lot of money, any way you slice it," Mr. Schumer said.
Until 2009, drivers received a greater tax break than those who took mass transit. That year, Mr. Schumer almost doubled the benefit to $230 per month. Without the extension, the benefit will drop back to the previous level of $125 per month.