Friday, December 22, 2017

Short line credit added to tax reform bill

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President Trump isn’t expected to sign tax reform legislation into law until 2018, but the bill already will assure short line railroads of a happy New Year.

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Just hours after the House of Representatives completed voting on the bill Wednesday, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced S. 2256, a measure to continue the 45G provision of the tax code providing a 50% investment tax credit for short lines.

The bill has been forwarded to the Senate Finance Committee. A House counterpart has not yet been introduced, but in previous years, tax extender bills in the House gathered record numbers of co-sponsors.

“The short line tax credit remains very important to the 600 U.S. short line railroads who provide the first and last mile of service on the freight rail network, and the tens of thousands of customers who depend on short line service to get their products to market safely and efficiently,” said Linda Bauer Darr, President of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association. “For large areas of rural and small town America, short line rail provides the only way shippers can be directly connected to the national economy, helping business and employment stay local.”

Darr said the short line tax credit has enabled short lines to invest $4 billion in track and bridge maintenance and upgrades since 2004.

“The critical nature of this credit is clearly understood by Congress, generating a bi-partisan majority in both the House (250 co-sponsors of H.R. 721) and the Senate (55 co-sponsors of S. 407) during this legislative session,” she said.

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