Staffing Management

Senate Panel Approves Bill to Increase Mass Transit Contribution Tax Break

By Jerry Geisel

Aug. 7, 2012

Employees would be able to make up to $240 a month in pretax contributions to pay for mass transit expenses through the end of 2013 as part of tax legislation approved last week by the Senate Finance Committee.

The higher limit would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012. Since Jan. 1, the maximum contribution limit has been $125 a month.

The provision is included in a broader bill, the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act, approved Aug. 2 by the Senate panel on a 19-5 vote.

The future of the mass transit provision, though, is not clear. This year, the Senate passed a highway funding bill with a provision under which employees would have been able to reduce their taxable salaries by up to $240 a month to pay for mass transit expenses. The higher limit also would have been retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012, but would have expired at the end of 2012.

However, a comparable provision was not included in a House-passed transportation bill. Congressional conferees, who ironed out differences in the two bills, and dropped without comment the Senate provision that would have boosted the mass transit contribution limit to $240 a month.

The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the mass transit contribution provision in the Senate highway bill, which also eased pension funding rules for employers and boosted Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. premiums, would have cost the federal government $139 million in lost tax revenue.

Jerry Geisel writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email

Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.

Jerry Geisel writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management.

What’s New at

blog workforce

Come see what we’re building in the world of predictive employee scheduling, superior labor insights and next-gen employee apps. We’re on a mission to automate workforce management for hourly employees and bring productivity, optimization and engagement to the frontline.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Staffing Management

Managing employee time-off requests: A guide for business owners

Summary Vacation, sick time, PTO banks, and unpaid leave are only a few forms of employee time off — Mo...

workforce blog

Staffing Management

4 proven steps for tackling employee absenteeism

Summary Identifying the cause of employee absenteeism not only helps uncover deeper-rooted issues — Mor...

absence management, Employee scheduling software, predictive scheduling, shift bid, shift swapping

workforce blog

Staffing Management

Employee or contractor? 6 worker misclassification FAQs

Misclassification of employees as independent contractors led to overtime violations, according to a La...

compliance, Department of Labor, employee engagement, FLSA, HR technology, Worker misclassification