Halloween may be over but the fight over the annual expiration of the federal transit commuter transit tax benefit is coming back to life again this year. Seemingly every year transit advocates are forced to go to the mat to support the extension of this critical tax benefit that should become permanent rather than subject to the changing winds in Congress. What is it? The benefit allows employees to spend up to $245 per month pre-tax on transit benefits saving commuters hundreds of dollars per year on their taxes while reducing congestion and thereby cleaning the air. The parking benefit provides an identical $245 pretax benefit that is nevertheless permanent. The transit benefit has see-sawed up and down as Congress has had its repeated budget, fiscal cliff, and sequestration battles. If it is not extended at the end of this year, the benefit will fall to $130 per month, effectively providing a greater incentive to drive. Parity is the common sense name of the game here and Congress should at least move to extend it but ideally it’s time to make the $245 transit benefit permanent for congestion-busting, air-cleaning transit riders.