Proposed Legislation Requires Businesses to Pay for Commute

May 18, 2017

Legislation proposed by D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) would require any business that pays for a worker’s parking space to offer that same benefit — in cash — if the employee chooses to walk, bike or take transit to the office instead of driving.

“Rather than only incentivizing driving and parking, why not incentive healthier, sustainable commutes?”

This is not the pre-tax transit or parking benefit many employers already offer; Allen’s proposal deals with taxable cash paid out in addition to an employee’s salary or wages.

“It’s only fair that if you choose transit, you choose bike, you choose walk, some other way to get to work, that value should carry with you. It’s about fairness for our employees,” said Allen in an interview with WAMU.

If an employer provides a specific parking subsidy, for example, up to $350 per month for parking, the worker would be able to cash out the amount and use it to pay for their preferred mode of transportation, even walking. Where an employer does not specify a value, the bill calls for a maximum of $255, the same amount in tax-free parking benefits an employer can provide in 2017 under IRS rules.


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