New Mexico to give railroads a fuel tax break after eligible infrastructure investment

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor
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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed the Locomotive Fuel Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) exemption bill, designed to encourage further growth of the railroad industry, as well as continued growth of exports and manufacturing in New Mexico.

This legislation will allow railroad operators to be eligible to receive GRT-free fuel after making a capital investment of at least $50 million on eligible infrastructure improvements, including railroad locomotive refueling facilities, railroad track and signals and supporting railroad networks located in New Mexico after July 1, 2012.

“Encouraging businesses to invest in our state and expand our existing infrastructure for

commerce is vital to strengthening New Mexico’s economy and creating jobs,” said Gov. Martinez.

“New Mexico has a deep and rich history with rail transportation and economic development and the growth and vitality we are currently seeing in Santa Teresa in the wake of new investment by Union Pacific shows remarkable progress in our efforts to position New Mexico well for the production and movement of goods in our state,” she stated.

The GRT deduction for railroad fuel was adopted by the 2011 legislature in order to encourage development of the new railroad re-fueling facility in southern New Mexico. This legislation lowers the new investment requirements for this GRT deduction.

Gov. Martinez’s administration and BNSF have also signed an agreement that requires BNSF to return $5 million to the state of New Mexico, funds that had been expended in 2008 to purchase a portion of railroad track from Lamy to the Colorado border, a section of track the state never officially took ownership. The agreement also converts a $50 million escrow account for liability protections on the Santa Fe RailRunner track to a line of credit that will allow the funds to no longer be encumbered and instead allow them to be used for construction and maintenance projects in New Mexico.

Categories: Class 1, OFF Track Maintenance