PITTSBURGH, February 27, 2009 – State Senator Wayne D. Fontana and Rep. Nick Kotik are proposing a state tax credit of up to $100 for taxpayers who use mass transit.

“Mass transit use eases traffic congestion, diminishes highway and bridge wear and tear, reduces pollution and helps keep gas prices down,” Fontana (D-Brookline) said. “We should do all we can to encourage its use.

“Kotik (D-Coraopolis) added, “Increased highway and bridge use results in people paying more for gas, governments paying more to build and maintain roadways and far less efficiency. The opposite proves true with increased mass transit use because higher use creates additional departure choices, more routes and helps keep costs down.”

Under the legislative proposal, the state Department of Revenue would establish a program for taxpayers to document mass transit (trains, buses and trolleys) use for an income tax credit of up to $100. The credit would only apply to taxes owed.

Fontana and Kotik pointed to a report by the American Public Transportation Association showing that mass transit is getting higher ridership numbers than it has in 50 years. They said the trend is a positive one and that their legislation would build on that momentum.”

The lawmakers were joined by Stephen Bland, CEO for the Port Authority of Allegheny County, for today’s announcement at PAT’s Welcome Center.

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