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LIRR Commuter Council backs tax benefit

The tracks and power lines reflect the afternoon

The tracks and power lines reflect the afternoon light at the Mineola LIRR train station (March 4, 2011) Credit: Craig Ruttle

The Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council has rallied transit watchdog groups from around the United States in support of restoring a federal tax benefit that could save public transportation users hundreds of dollars a year.

The council recruited 17 other commuter organizations from cities including Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago in writing a letter to Congress asking for the restoration of a federal commuter tax benefit that previously allowed transit users to set aside $240 a month in pretaxed commuting costs. That amount was reduced to $125 last month.

LIRR Commuter Council chairman Mark Epstein said the cross-section of groups included in the letter represent “the hardworking men and women of this country who travel to and from work by public transportation and are the backbone of this economy.”

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