Sixty-two and 294—these two numbers may seem arbitrary to some, but they’re music to the ears of Short Line Tax Credit supporters.
Indeed, the Short Line Tax Credit has increased its record support. According to the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), the 294th House co-sponsor has signed on to the BRACE (Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy) Act, which would make the tax credit permanent. The companion Senate Bill (S.203) has 62 Senate co-sponsors.
“The BRACE Act achieved another historic milestone—fully two-thirds of the House of Representatives has now signed on to co-sponsor H.R.510,” said Chuck Baker, President, ASLRRA. “290 (Editor’s Note: 294 as of the morning of Oct. 23) Congressmen have now joined in with a variety of outside groups, from the Farm Bureau to the ports association to State DOTs to the STB’s outside advisory council, in calling for this small but critical piece of tax policy to be extended.
“We now call on Congressional leadership to make this a reality for the thousands of agricultural, energy and manufacturing customers, and communities, served by the more-than 600 short line railroads. These small businesses provide safe, efficient, environmentally friendly freight service connecting small town and rural America with the broader domestic and global economies. The time to act is now—a timely renewal of the credit this fall is crucial to continue the benefits of this infrastructure investment and avoid dire consequences for the short line railroad industry. We are depending on Congress to work together to find a bipartisan tax deal that can move through both the House and the Senate quickly.”
The 45G Short Line Tax Credit—which offers a $0.50 credit for each private dollar spent on freight rail upgrades and maintenance up to a cap of $3,500 per track-mile annually—has been renewed six times since 2005, driving more than $4 billion in private investment. It expired on Dec. 31, 2017, and currently awaits extension.