Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Earth Day Contribution

Marc gave helpful tips. James offered up some green cues from his lighting design practice. My turn, I guess, to highlight a green initiative from my every day - and it's one that'll save you money, too. It's called a commuter/transit benefits program - and if you don't have one, you should ask your employer about offering one.

For more than 20 years now, there has been IRS legislation in place that lets you set aside pre-tax salary (money you're paid before taxes are taken out...like when you take out money for a 401k) that can be used to pay for transit and commuter parking.

One of the most popular commuter benefits programs is the original, TransitChek. Offered by TransitCenter, the non-profit advocate for transit, TransitChek saves commuters up to $500 or more a year on transit...and up to $1300 if you deduct for transit and commuter parking. And if that's not a good enough reason for you, tell your employer he/she saves on payroll taxes for every employee who signs up for the program - so the benefit usually pays for itself. Plus, everyone benefits by reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and the harmful greenhouse gases that cause global warming. (If I sound a little like a commercial, in the interest of full disclosure, it's because TransitCenter is one of my agency's clients - so I write about this a lot).

So, that's what I got. And may your every day be a happy Earth day.

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