December 7, 2007

 

Taylor Circulates Bill to Aid Businesses, Employees, and Mass Transit

MADISON – Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) today initiated circulation of the Mass Transit and Employer Incentive Act.  The Act provides benefits to those businesses and employers who purchase public transportation passes for their employees.

“This bill is good for our businesses, mass transit system, workers, and the environment,” said Taylor. “It’s absolutely a win-win situation.”

The bill creates an individual income tax exemption for the cost of a public transportation pass provided by an employer to an employee, or for the money paid by an employer to an employee to purchase such a pass, of up to $115 per month.  Under current federal law, for taxable years beginning in 2008, such passes, or funds to pay for such passes, provided to an employee that have a value of $115 per month or less are exempt from the federal income tax.

“Growing the economy needs to be a priority,” Taylor commented. “That means we need to ease the financial burdens imposed on our businesses whenever possible.  This bill is a great opportunity to make Wisconsin a more appealing state to do business in.”

Besides reducing costs for businesses around Wisconsin, the Mass Transit and Employer Incentive Act is also a boon for the state’s mass transit system.  By making mass transit a more financially viable option for the state’s businesses and workforce, the Act promises to increase the number of people utilizing public transportation, thereby augmenting efficiency and helping to keep more bus routes open.

“Certainly, the benefits to mass transit from this legislation are considerable,” noted Taylor. “But increasing public transportation usage has positive effects on other areas of society, too.  It will help the environment by decreasing emissions and it will lessen the amount of traffic on our roads, lowering congestion and reducing the burden on our state’s transportation infrastructure.”

“I can’t think of many pieces of legislation that have promised such widespread positive effects for citizens across the state,” Taylor added.  “This bill is something that Wisconsinites from all walks of life can get behind, and I’m excited that we’ve finally started moving it forward.”