The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) endorsed the introduction last week of legislation in Congress that would make permanent the short line track maintenance tax credit.
The Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy Act (BRACE) was introduced Feb. 26 by U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in the Senate as S.B. 2595, and by U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) in the House as H.B. 4626.
The tax credit provides short line and regional railroads a 50 cent tax credit for each dollar the railroad spends on track rehabilitation and maintenance up to $3,500 per mile of track owned or leased by the railroad. In December 2015, Congress passed the fifth short-term extension of the credit, extending it through 2016.
Since it was originally enacted in 2004, the tax credit has been used by short-line and regional railroads to maximize capital investment in critical infrastructure, said ASLRRA President Linda Darr, in a press release.
“By making 45G permanent, the BRACE Act will provide the certainty small
businesses need to plan and complete important rehabilitation projects,” Darr said. “This long term investment strategy is the ‘brace’ that allows short line railroads to provide the industries they serve a safer and more competitive mode of transportation.”