New York may enact mandatory 132 Transit Benefit Program
New York State is considering similar legislation for employers with fifty or more employees to establish a qualified transportation fringe benefit program consistent with section 132 of the internal revenue code (IRS).
Three years ago the City and County of San Francisco passed groundbreaking legislation that mandates companies with 20 or more employees to offer transit benefits to their employees. The most striking aspect of this mandate was that it had the support of the business community. Business groups like the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) saw the inherent benefit for their members to participate in a program that saves payroll taxes, income tax for their employees, reduces traffic congestion, and lessens air pollution.
Now New York State is considering similar legislation for employers with fifty or more employees to establish a qualified transportation fringe benefit program consistent with section 132 of the internal revenue code (IRS). According to the content of the bill they believe that by “requiring large employers to offer this program, this bill will encourage the use of mass transit. For those employees who already commute to work using mass transit, it will offer significant tax savings. Participating employers will also reduce their tax burden.”
With the bill passed by the State Assembly and it is now up to the hands of the Senate. The bill has been put on the calendar for a floor vote #767. However, even though it is on the calendar there is no guarantee that it will pass through the Senate.
If you are a New York state employer, it is important to let your State Senator be made aware of your interest in seeing this legislation pass. If every larger employer in the State of New York offers the same transit benefit program that you currently offer, the results will be visible: Higher transit usages, less roadway congestion, and cleaner air. Saving employees on income tax could not be more timely in these tight economic times. With all the discouraging environmental news we receive, this is a chance for you to promote a beneficial solution.