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New call to restore commuter tax benefit

The Long Island Rail Road has lowered its

The Long Island Rail Road has lowered its November on-time performance numbers in response to commuter advocates who said the agency was manipulating statistics to look like train service was better than it was in the weeks following superstorm Sandy. (Credit: Kevin P Coughlin)

A state lawmaker Thursday renewed his call for the restoration of a commuter tax benefit that he says could ease the burden of the MTA’s planned fare hike next year.

State Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick), who heads the Senate Transportation Committee, urged Congress to restore the benefit, which allowed commuters to set aside as much as $230 a month tax free to cover their public transportation costs. When the law expired in January, the benefit rolled back to $120 per month.

“With commuters facing higher fares after approval of yet another MTA fare increase, it is more important than ever for Congress to restore the pretax mass transit benefit program to help reduce costs for commuters,” Fuschillo said.


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Max Young, a spokesman for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has pushed for the restoration of the benefit, said it could be included in a package to avoid the so-called economic fiscal cliff.

Schumer “is working every angle to get the provision passed into law — regardless of the avenue — as soon as possible,” Young said.

 

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