City commuters plagued by routine fare hikes may finally be receiving some well-deserved cash relief with lawmakers considering a tax break for mass transit users including LIRR, NJ Transit, and New York City subway riders.
Senator Charles Schumer is rallying behind the break and explains, "In a time of rising gas prices, it just doesn’t make any sense to encourage people to drive rather than take mass transit."
Schumer is hoping to raise the current $125 tax benefit to $240 and made retroactive to January 1 when the break expired.
The proposed changes are likely to face opposition from Republican House of Representatives, but Congressman Peter King notes that the bill's popularity is gaining momentum on both sides of the political spectrum.
Back in December, Schumer estimated 500,000 New Yorkers collectively annually saved $200 million because of the benefit.
The shrunken tax benefit was criticized by many transit riders including Kathleen McMinn, vice-president for marketing at TransitCenter who explained her normally $273 savings on monthly NJ Transit costs would be slashed in half, making it all the more painful to get to work.
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