Friday, July 20, 2012

ASLRRA: Majority of Congress supports shortline tax credit

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association reached a major milestone by securing the 51st Senate co-sponsor of legislation to extend the Short Line Rehabilitation Tax Credit (45G). The legislation has now been sponsored by a majority of both houses of Congress.

The House bill, H.R. 721, which has 257 co-sponsors, has been over the 50 percent mark since December, 2011. The Senate bill, S. 672, is now likewise supported by more than half of the Senate. In both cases, the co-sponsors represent large numbers of both Democrats and Republicans.

ASLRRA President Richard Timmons said, "the Short Line Rehabilitation Tax Credit has been tremendously successful in maximizing private investment in railroad infrastructure. It allows small businesses to invest more of what they earn in track improvements."

As the Senate milestone was reached, Timmons said the industry was deeply grateful to the tax credit legislation's chief Senate sponsor, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and his leading Republican co-sponsor, Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID).

"At a time when there is more partisan gridlock in Congress than ever before, these two senators have put together a truly bi-partisan effort on behalf of legislation that encourages private investment and creates jobs," said Timmons.

"This tax credit would mean better, safer railroad track and more reliable, competitively priced railroad service for companies to transport their products," said Senator Rockefeller. "It is particularly important for rural areas like West Virginia where shortline service is often the only railroad service available for many companies trying to ship their products. By helping our businesses get the tools they need more efficiently, we're helping them grow, which also impacts the economies in local communities and states."

Both the Senate and House tax writing committees are considering an "extenders package," which includes a variety of tax provisions that have or will expire shortly. The 45G tax credit has been extended twice through inclusion in previous extender packages and Timmons said he believes that this strong co-sponsor showing will help keep 45G in the current package.

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