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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) last week praised the coronavirus relief and government funding legislation that Congress passed last week.
President Donald Trump signed the legislation yesterday, which included $900 billion in coronavirus emergency relief funding aimed at stimulating the economy.
The legislation included several rail provisions, including permanency for the short-line 45G tax credit, continued assistance under Railroad Unemployment Insurance and reauthorization of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act through fiscal-year 2024, AAR officials said in a press release.
The short-line tax credit "provides clear incentives for smaller railroads to invest in track rehabilitation — spurring more than $4 billion in new investments in short-line operations over the past 15 years — and has preserved crucial first and last mile rail connectivity," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ian Jefferies.
"Cementing the credit provides certainty and will bolster investment in the roughly 600 U.S. short-line railroads — a positive first step for policymakers keen on improving U.S. infrastructure and achieving various policy goals through rail transportation," Jefferies said.