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Schumer Amendment: Make Transit Tax Benefit Equal to Parking Benefit

The last piece of the Senate's two-year transportation reauthorization proposal will be marked up by the Finance Committee tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. The committee was tasked with finding approximately $12 billion to bridge the projected shortfall of the Highway Trust Fund over the life of the bill. So far, according to a summary released by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), they have found a little over $10.4 billion:

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    • $3.7 billion transferred from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund, already funded by a slice of the federal gas tax
    • $2.8 billion from reducing a tax credit on certain biofuels
    • $2.5 billion from taxes on imported cars, redirected from the general fund to the HTF
    • $0.7 billion from the "gas guzzler tax," also redirected from the general fund
    • $0.7 in back taxes collected after revoking passports of serious offenders, assuming offenders would rather pay the feds than lose their passport

Furthermore, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has sponsored an amendment that would restore parity between the pre-tax commuter benefits for transit and parking. There had been parity between transit and parking pre-tax benefits since the Stimulus Act was passed in 2009, but the transit benefit was slashed in half -- from $230 a month to $125 -- when the measure expired on January 1st. Schumer's amendment would make the parity permanent.

Live updates will be available tomorrow on twitter (#TranspoMarkup).

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