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SmartBenefits to be Cut for 2011?


Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

From Ron Holzer, office of public relations, WMATA:

Starting January 1, 2010, SmartBenefits commuters could lose up to $1,300 per year in transit benefits because of two changes being made by the Federal government:

· The maximum monthly transit benefit allowed by federal law will decrease from $230 to $120; and

· Commuters will no longer be able to use their transit and parking benefits interchangeably as Metro begins to phase in an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mandate that requires a separation of the parking and transit accounts for commuters.

In the National Capital region, 285,000 employees currently receive transit benefits. And at least 90,000 of these Metro commuters currently receive more than $120 per month.

On top of that, there is an IRS mandate to separate parking and transit benefits. Metro is currently taking steps to comply with an IRS mandate that requires transit and parking benefits be separated into two different accounts. Riders will be prevented from using transit benefits from parking (and vice versa).

More than 220,000 Metro customers will ultimately be impacted by this change, which will be phased through the spring as Metro makes needed programming change to its faregates and fareboxes in order to comply with the IRS regulations.

Obviously I think he means, Jan. 1, 2011. Do you guys receive monthly benefits over $120 a month?

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