Friday, July 20, 2012

ASLRRA: 51 Senate cosponsors for tax credit

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The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) Friday said it had 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."

House bill H.R. 721, with 257 co-sponsors, has been over the 50% mark since last December, ASLRRA said. "The Senate bill, S. 672, is now likewise supported by over half of the Senate." Both bills are backed with bipartisan support, ASLRRA noted.

Said ASLRRA President Richard F. Timmons (pictured at right), "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."rich timmonsaslrra

Timmons said the industry was deeply grateful to the tax credit legislation's chief Senate sponsor, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and leading Republican co-sponsor Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). "At a time when there is more partisan gridlock in Congress than ever before, these two Senators have put together a truly bipartisan effort on behalf of legislation that encourages private investment and creates jobs," he said.

ASLRRA said both the Senate and House tax writing committees are considering a so-called "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. Timmons said he believes that this strong co-sponsor showing will help keep 45G in the current package. The leading sponsors of the legislation in the House are Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).

Said Sen. Rockefeller, “This tax credit would mean better, safer railroad track and more reliable, competitively priced railroad service for companies to transport their products.” He added, “It is particularly important for rural areas like West Virginia where short line 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.”