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A bill that would permanently extend the 45G short-line tax credit has been introduced in the Senate, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) announced late last week.The lead sponsors of S. 203 are U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). A nearly identical bill, H.R. 510, was introduced Jan. 11 in the House by U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.). The House bill already has 42 co-sponsors, according to the ASLRRA. The legislation is known as the Building Rail Access for Customers andthe Economy Act, or BRACE Act.First enacted in 2005 and renewed six times, the tax credit has been responsible for more than $4 billion of investment in privately held short lines across the nation, ASLRRA officials said. The tax credit expired at 2017’s end.Short lines provide the "first and last mile" of service to one in five cars moving on the nation's freight-rail system, which allows shippers competitive transportation access to the U.S. and world economies, they said."Without a rail option, we would be unable to compete in the U.S. market and beyond," said Frank Peeples, president of Peeples Industries Inc., a maritime terminal operations center based in Savannah, Georgia. "Ensuring the tax credit is continuously available will enable companies like ourselves and industry suppliers to make long-term plans for operations and investment."
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