U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has scheduled a 10:30 news conference in New Haven’s Union Station to ask Congress to extend federal commuter-tax benefits for those who take public transportation to work. On January 1, the amount commuters can set aside to pay for their public transit costs before taxes decreased from $245 to $130 per month, costing some people up to $1,000 in additional costs.
“Failure to extend this tax benefit will harm working families and small businesses, as well as clog the roads, contaminate our air, raise gasoline usage, cost consumers, and impose unfair discrimination against mass transit users,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “Commuters from every corner of the state have expressed to me, through letters, emails, and phone calls in recent months, how useful and important this benefit is to them on a daily basis. Commuters face an unconscionable double whammy – higher fares, and an effective tax increase, unless we do the right thing and renew the full 245 dollar benefit.”