Big Increase Coming in Pre-Tax Transit Benefit
The federal stimulus law contains a big boost in what transit riders can set aside from their paychecks tax free to pay their fares.
"Employers and employees will see the transit benefit allowance increase to $230 a month beginning March 1," Metro pointed out in a statement this afternoon. The current pre-tax limit is $120.
Starting next week, employers will be able to offer employees up to $230 a month -- $2,760 a year -- as a pre-tax payroll deduction. Metro riders can use the SmarTrip card to pay for trains, buses and parking at Metro lots and garages. They also are good on suburban buses.
About 400 federal agencies, 4,000 private employers and 189,000 employees participate in the SmartBenefits program, the transit authority said. Note that the cards hold up to $300 in value and no more. Metro should increase that limit now, in case people try downloading $230 onto a card that already has more than $70 remaining on it.
Metro is inviting employers to attend a free seminar on the SmartBenefits program on Wednesday, March 4, from 8:45 a.m. to noon at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth St. NW. Employers can register for the seminar at this link.
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