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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Short-line tax credit extension signed into law


Two major appropriations bills signed by President Trump late last week included measures of interest to the rail industry, including a five-year extension of the Section 45G short-line tax credit.

Now extended retroactively to 2018 and through 2022, the tax credit has long been supported by the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA). The previous extension to 45G — which was introduced in 2005 — expired at 2017's end.

Other rail industry issues in the legislation signed by Trump included $325 million for the next round of fiscal-year 2020 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grants; $1 billion for the next round of FY2020 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants; and $2.5 million for the Short Line Safety Institute, according to an ASLRRA memo.

Also of interest to the rail industry was the Transit Infrastructure Vehicle Security Act (TIVSA), which was included in the annual defense authorization bill. TIVSA prohibits federal funding for transit projects that involve the purchase of rail cars made by Chinese state-owned enterprises such as the CRRC Corp.

TIVSA's passage is a "huge victory for the railway supply industry and the country," said Railway Supply Institute President Mike O'Malley in a prepared statement.

"Chinese state-owned enterprises like CRRC have demonstrated a clear threat to American jobs and national security, leveraging significant subsidies from the Chinese government to systematically underbid its competition," O'Malley said. "TIVSA will help restore the industry to a level playing field and ensure that the United States can continue to benefit from a fair and competitive marketplace for years to come, and we thank all those in Congress who have spearheaded this effort over the past several years.”

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More News from 12/23/2019