Cost for Maryland Bus, Train Commuters Could Increase

A tax break for Maryland bus and MARC train riders will expire in January, costing commuters hundreds of dollars unless Congress acts to restore the benefit.

Tax breaks for commuters will expire in January unless Congress acts. File | Patch
Tax breaks for commuters will expire in January unless Congress acts. File | Patch

Thousands of Maryland bus and MARC train riders could pay more for their commute starting in January after Congress failed to renew an expiring tax credit that rewards mass transit use, reports the Baltimore Sun

Current federal law allows bus and rail commuters to withhold up to $245 a month in pre-tax income. The cap falls to $130 on Jan. 1 — potentially costing frequent mass transit users hundreds of dollars a year in higher taxes, the newspaper says.

Lawmakers approved a budget agreement this month that did not address the tax break.

Both chambers could approve the break when Congress returns the week of Jan. 6, according to the newspaper. But even if that happens, supporters are concerned it will be hard for companies to quickly readjust, possibly making it difficult for users to capture the full benefit.

About 6,000 MARC riders and nearly 3,000 bus commuters in the state take part in the program, according to the Maryland Transit Administration. About 400,000 of Metrorail's average weekday ridership in Washington use some sort of federal transit benefit, the newspaper says.

Read the full story on the Baltimore Sun website.


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