Bill S6736-2013

Establishes a personal income tax credit for tolls paid by resident taxpayers during the course of commuting to and from their place of employment

Establishes a personal income tax credit for tolls paid by resident taxpayers during the course of commuting to and from their place of employment.

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  • Mar 5, 2014: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6736

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the tax law, in relation to establishing a personal income tax credit for tolls paid by a taxpayer in the course of commuting to and from his or her place of employment

PURPOSE:

To provide relief from high toll expenses by creating an income tax credit for individuals that must pay tolls as part of their daily commute.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends section 606 of the tax law by adding a subsection (u) creating a commuter toll credit, Individuals who must pay a toll at least three time a week for forty five weeks of the year while going to their place of work qualify for the credit. It applies to tolls paid for the use of public highways or bridges, including those paid to any public authority established under the laws of New York. The credit is capped at $250 for single filers or $500 for those filing jointly if both persons are eligible for the credit.

Section 2 establishes an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Every day, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have to pay tolls during their commute. Many of our commuters have to pay very high tolls, including drivers crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, who pay the highest toll charged for crossing any bridge in the United States. Even with an EZ-pass account these drivers have to pay at least $6 a day to cross that bridge. Recently there was an agreement to cut that to $5.50 for Staten Island residents, but if one commutes five times a week for 50 weeks the cost of crossing that bridge remains $1,375 a year. Drivers crossing over many outer borough bridges or crossing bridges run by the Port Authority also pay very high tolls.

Outside of the New York City area, Lens of thousands must travel across the New York State Thruway and use the Tappan Zee bridge, or any of the various toll bridges operated by the New York State Bridge Authority. Annual costs for tolls across the Tappan Zee exceed $720 a year for those who pay for EZ pass commuter plans. Given these high costs, one way the State can provide relief for these drivers without cutting funding for our road and bridge network or other transportation needs is to provide direct and targeted tax relief for those individuals who have the highest toll expenses, which would be those who need to pay these tolls as part of their daily commute. For this reason, we want to create this tax credit, which would provide that targeted relief for thousands of New York drivers.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

This is new legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

The estimated cost of this tax expenditure would be $150 million annually.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act takes effect immediately and applies to the tax year in which it is passed.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6736 IN SENATE March 5, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sens. CARLUCCI, KLEIN, SAVINO, VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to establishing a personal income tax credit for tolls paid by a taxpayer in the course of commuting to and from his or her place of employment THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 606 of the tax law is amended by adding a new subsection (u) to read as follows: (U) COMMUTER TOLLS CREDIT. (1) GENERAL. EACH INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIED TAXPAYER SHALL BE ALLOWED A CREDIT NOT TO EXCEED TWO HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS DURING ANY TAXABLE YEAR, TO BE COMPUTED AS PROVIDED IN THIS SUBSECTION, AGAINST THE TAX IMPOSED BY THIS ARTICLE FOR QUALIFIED TOLLS PAID DURING SUCH TAXABLE YEAR. (2) DEFINITIONS. (A) THE TERM "QUALIFIED TAXPAYER" MEANS A RESIDENT TAXPAYER WHO COMMUTES TO AND FROM HIS OR HER PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT AND WHO DURING THE COURSE OF SUCH COMMUTING PAYS QUALIFIED TOLLS NOT LESS THAN THREE TIMES EACH WEEK FOR NOT LESS THAN FORTY-FIVE WEEKS DURING THE TAXABLE YEAR. (B) THE TERM "QUALIFIED TOLLS" MEANS TOLLS AND FEES IMPOSED FOR USE OF A PUBLIC HIGHWAY OR BRIDGE WITHIN THE STATE, OR TOLLS AND FEES IMPOSED BY A PUBLIC AUTHORITY, ESTABLISHED BY THE LAWS OF THIS STATE, FOR THE USE OF A PUBLIC HIGHWAY OR BRIDGE; AND SUCH TOLLS OR FEES WERE PAID WHILE A QUALIFIED TAXPAYER WAS IN THE COURSE OF COMMUTING TO AND FROM HIS OR HER PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT. (3) AMOUNT OF CREDIT. THE AMOUNT OF THE CREDIT PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE THE FIRST TWO HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS OF QUALIFIED TOLLS PAID BY AN INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIED TAXPAYER DURING THE TAXABLE YEAR, EXCEPT IN THE CASE WHERE TWO QUALIFIED TAXPAYERS FILE JOINTLY, THE AMOUNT OF SUCH CREDIT SHALL BE THE FIRST FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS OF THE QUALIFIED TOLLS PAID BY SUCH QUALIFIED TAXPAYERS DURING THE TAXABLE YEAR AS COMPUTED BY ADDING THE TAX CREDITS EACH WOULD BE ALLOWED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION IF THEY EACH FILED INDIVIDUALLY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to the taxable year in which it takes effect and taxable years commencing ther- eafter.

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