With the abundant amount of transportation options available to commuters in the DC metro region, many of them free and with significant tax savings for both the employer and employee, it seems almost silly that more employers don’t offer transit benefits to their staff. With the understanding that Benefits’ Managers already have a significant workload and that implementing new and unknown transit options can pose somewhat of a risk, what HR staff person wouldn’t want to increase job satisfaction, reduce turnover and boost morale all while saving tax dollars?
Risk and uncertainty are valid concerns when considering transit benefits. However, with the variety of options and support from numerous public and contracted agencies, implementing these benefits has much greater rewards than pitfalls. TransIT Services of Frederick County provides a program called Employer Connection which takes your company “beyond the bus” to offer the support, guidance and implementation assistance needed to create a happier workforce.
TransIT’s Employer Assistance Program provides free consultation, advice, strategies and tools. Offer your employees the opportunity to participate in programs like Guaranteed Ride Home, a complimentary commuter insurance that provides free rides home in the event of unscheduled overtime or emergency, up to four times a year. Other alternatives like compressed work weeks or telework programs can boost morale, reduce absenteeism and turnover, and increase productivity in the workplace. More transit solutions and benefits are outlined below:
TRANSIT SUPPORT SOLUTIONS
- on-site events
- online ridematching
- vanpool subsidies
- telework program development
- corporate relocation assistance
- parking management strategies
- employee residence pattern mapping
- new employee orientations
- implementation assistance
FLEXIBLE BENEFIT OPTIONS
Offering fringe benefits like pre-tax deductions or direct employee subsidies to your staff provides an excellent outlet for additional benefits to your employees. Employees save on income and payroll taxes with pre-tax dollars and direct employer benefits are not subject to payroll taxes. In accordance with the IRS Code 132(f) Commuter Tax Benefit, tax free limits include:
- $130.00/mo for Transit and Vanpools
- $250.00/mo for Commuter Parking
- $20.00/mo for Bicycle Commuting Reimbursement
LEED CERTIFICATION ASSISTANCE
At least 30% of LEED Certification points can come from implementing Alternative Transportation Options. There are two types of categories of worksites where offering commuting options can be submitted for LEED Certification: Existing Building (LEED EB) and New Construction (LEED NC). TransIT can help you earn points by conducting surveys, setting up telework programs, building near transit, and more!
COMMUTER TAX CREDIT
The Maryland Commuter Tax Credit program allows businesses operating in Maryland to claim a 50% tax credit against the cost of providing alternative commute programs and services to its employees up to a maximum credit of $50.00 per participating employee per month.
The credit may be claimed against the personal income tax, the corporate income tax or the insurance premium tax.
Transit instruments, vanpools and their related costs, Guaranteed Ride Home programs and Cash in Lieu of Parking are all eligible expenses. Application is easy:
- Submit a Maryland Commuter tax registration form to the State of Maryland
- Complete Form 500CR (modified as possible) to apply tax credits toward the total tax liability for the calendar year in which commute expenses are paid to or on behalf of participating employees.
VANPOOL INCENTIVE PROGRAM(VIP)
Designed to encourage the start-up of new vanpools originating or terminating in Frederick County, the VIP offers funding to a limited amount of unoccupied seats for up to one year.
As the cost to replace employees increases, the need for transportation demand management solutions are becoming more and more important for recruitment, retention and satisfaction. Become an Employer of Choice with these strategies; improve your organization’s success, vitalize the economy and increase the quality of life for all residents and employees of the local region. Learn more at www.frederickcountymd.gov/transit and contact us by calling (301) 600-RIDE or emailing TransITRideshare@FrederickCountyMD.gov.