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Legislative Memo

T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.1858 (Klein) / A.10048 (Weisenberg)

Support

SUBJECT:

Mandated transportation fringe benefit plan

 

DATE:

June 8, 2010

 

This bill would require private sector employers of fifty or more employees to implement a qualified transportation fringe benefit plan. The Business Council opposes enactment of this bill.

Another Mandate on employers in New York State

Preparing a program document, engaging an administrator who would be responsible for management and maintenance of the program, and insuring proper tax compliance with IRC section 132 are all costs to a business of setting up and running such a program. Employers must establish this mandated transportation fringe benefit program before they even know if any employees are interested in participating. This is symptomatic of legislation that is proposed with no thought of any consequences to New York State employers.

Voluntary program

The qualified transportation fringe benefit plan is a voluntary program with certain tax benefits permitted by the federal IRS. Here at The Business Council, we have neither learned of groups of employees around the state being refused such a program by their employers nor heard that this has been a contentious private sector collective bargaining issue in need of intercession by the NYS legislature. Would mandating a voluntary program such as this lead to future mandates of health reimbursement accounts, dependent care spending accounts, health savings accounts, wellness programs, savings bond programs and United Way campaigns which are currently voluntary? We urge the legislature to leave voluntary programs between employers and their employees or collective bargaining representatives.

Encouraging use of mass transit

The bill has a laudable purpose of encouraging the use of mass transit. Low fares, dependable service, clean, bright equipment and cheerful service personnel would be more effective in encouraging the use of mass transit.

For these reasons, The Business Council opposes this legislation and urges that it not be enacted by the New York State Legislature.