SPRINGFIELD— Commuters in Illinois could get a tax break under a plan proposed by Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

The costs of traveling to and from work, whether by car, train or bus is significant. For instance, depending on the zone, 12 monthly Metra passes can cost over $3,500 a year. Likewise, daily tolls can easily add up to over $1,000 per year.

Bertino-Tarrant is trying to reduce the financial burden on commuters by making them eligible to receive a tax credit for travel expenses.

“The cost of traveling to work and back home can put a huge strain on individual and family budgets, and commuters deserve tax relief,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Additionally, it is important that similar incentives be offered to drivers and mass transit users.”

Bertino-Tarrant is also attempting to level the playing field between drivers and Metra users. The federal government currently gives larger tax credits to drivers over Metra riders, which discourages people from taking public transportation and increases congestion on the interstate.

Under Senate Bill 19 that Bertino-Tarrant is sponsoring, commuters would be able to apply for a credit of up to 25% of qualified commuting expenses incurred during a taxable year.

Senate Bill 19 has been assigned to the Revenue Committee.

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