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Tax will increase commuter costs, could jam area roads

Wednesday - 12/28/2011, 1:23pm  ET

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It will be a longer financial ride for area taxpayers in 2012. (WTOP)

WASHINGTON -- A tax change taking effect on the first day of the new year could cost area commuters hundreds more annually and jam already clogged commuter roads.

The mass-transit commuter tax credit will end on Jan. 1, 2012, lowering the maximum tax-free amount commuters can put toward Metro, MARC and VRE train fare to $125. The limit had been $230 for two years.

Area Democratic senators Mark Warner, Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski sought to extend the increase again, citing a prospective increase in rush-hour traffic. Now roughly 250,000 people will face at least a few months of higher taxes, they say.

But it isn't all bad news. Parking benefits are increasing from $230 to $240 tax-free per month.

Learn more here:

WTOP's Max Smith contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)