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Bill Would Also Encourage Use of Mass Transportation

Assemblyman Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. has introduced legislation to help commuters besieged by increased transportation rates. The New Jersey Commuter Pass Credit Act (A-3414) would provide a temporary gross income tax credit for eight percent of the amount a taxpayer spends on qualified commuting passes up to $100 per taxable year.

“This bill is designed to provide some measure of financial relief to New Jersey taxpayers who rely on train, bus or ferry to get to work,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “We also hope this will alleviate congestion and provide incentives for us to reduce our carbon footprint.”

The credit would be available for the three taxable years beginning on or after January 1 following the date of enactment of the legislation. A qualified commuting pass includes passes for train, bus or ferry service which taxpayers purchase for their use at a price of no less than $30. Qualified commuting is limited to travel between the taxpayer’s home and work, or terminals near those places, one of which must be located in New Jersey.

“This is a logical, short-term, three-year stimulus measure designed to help those that are struggling to stay afloat and allow us to see just how effective this policy will be in the long-run,” added Ramos. “Hopefully this measure will help ease a little bit of the strain on the average commuter.”

The bill would also require the Director of the Division of Taxation to complete a report on the credit, which is to be submitted to the Governor and Legislature in August of the third year of the credit in order to determine if the incentive should be renewed or allowed to expire.