Clock Expires for Mass Transit Benefit Fix

A Metro car leaves the Farragut North station in 2010. A Metro car leaves the Farragut North station in 2010. Susan Walsh/AP file photo

Federal employees will see a dramatic decrease in their mass transit benefits beginning Jan. 1, bringing the subsidy down to pre-2009 levels.

With the House now on recess until 2014, time has run out for legislative action to restore parity between the public transportation and parking benefits. Because the mass transit benefit for 2013 included a one-year extension as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act -- also known as the fiscal cliff deal -- the subsidy will decrease from this year’s maximum of $245 per month to $130.

The parking benefit, however, was lifted permanently and receives annual cost-of-living adjustments, meaning it will actually increase by $5 to $250 in 2014. A similar gap between mass transit and parking benefits also existed in 2012, though the disparity was eliminated retroactively by the fiscal cliff deal.

In March 2009, as part of what is colloquially known as the economic stimulus package, feds received a significant transit boost, from $115 to $230 per month. Not all employees have been eligible for the heightened benefit; each agency is free to set its own maximum up to the federal limit. Individual employees can only receive -- and write off for tax purposes -- a subsidy in the amount they spend on transportation each month. 

The change will affect all commuters whose employers offer transit benefits, not just federal employees.

Bills in both the Senate and House attempted to remedy the parking and public transportation gap, though neither bill has made it out of committee. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.