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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

ASLRRA notes progress of 45G tax credit bill; Obama signs PTC extension


The proposed Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation Investment Act has advanced in the Senate, as the bill to extend the 45G tax credit picked up a majority of sponsors, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) announced today.

The Senate bill (S.637), which would allow short lines to earn tax credits for infrastructure investment, now has 51 senators signed on to sponsor the bill. The House legislation (H.R. 721) secured a majority of 218 co-sponsors several months ago. The House bill currently has 246 sponsors, ASLRRA officials said in a press release.

Under the legislation's terms, a short line must invest $1 for every 50 cents in credit up to a credit cap equivalent to $3,500 per mile of track.

"The 45G credit is a bipartisan effort which allows small railroads to invest more of what they earn into our rail infrastructure. Both of these bills now have among the highest number of co-sponsors of all the tax bills introduced in this Session of Congress," said ASLRRA Chairman Ed McKechnie. "These investments will allow our short lines to continue to growth their business, serve their customers and grow the American economy."

The tax credit, which had been in place since 2005, expired Dec. 31, 2014.

Meanwhile, President Obama yesterday signed into law H.R. 3819, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015, the president's press secretary announced.

The bill features a short-term extension of federal funding of surface transportation programs, and extends the deadline for railroads to implement positive train control (PTC) technology by three years to Dec. 31, 2018, and until 2020 under certain circumstances.

Surface transportation funding was set to expire Oct. 29. The previous PTC deadline was Dec. 31 of this year.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/30/2015