Legislation

Obama Signs $1.1 Trillion Government Spending BillSummaryofBills


Senate Passes Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Appropriations (CR-Omnibus); Bill Headed to President for Signature

On December 13, the Senate agreed to the House-Senate negotiated plan to avert government shutdown and fund the federal government through the end of Fiscal Year 2015 (FY 2015). The final vote in the Senate on the combined Omnibus Appropriations and Continuing Resolutions was 56 to 40. This agreement lays out the funding for 11 of the 12 appropriations accounts for the balance of FY 2015, including funding for the Department of Transportation. APTA has provided a table of 2015 US Department of Transportation Appropriations, see table here.

Senate Passes 55-item Package of Tax Breaks - CNG and Transit Commuter Parity included; Bill Headed to President for Signature

On December 16, 2015, dozens of temporary tax breaks, including a retroactive extension of federal excise tax credits for alternative fuels for 2014 and were passed by the Senate, 76-16, moving the bill to the White House for the President’s signature. Transit agencies fueling their fleets with alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) are eligible for these credits to offset operating costs. Transit commuters can claim the $245 pre-tax credit, parity between employer-provided mass transit and parking pre-tax/tax free benefits. However, this benefit cannot be claimed retroactively. The industry is still positive about continuing discussions to make this tax credit permanent in the 115th Congress. One final item in the bill is that people with disabilities can open a tax-free savings account, known as the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. See Howard Gleckman’s article on ABLE here.

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