Video: ASLRRA President Chuck Baker on government funding opportunities for short lines

Chuck Baker (at right) says federal, state and local government funding opportunities for short lines have reached a high-water mark. RailPrime

On April 21, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill into law that provides tax credits to regionals and short lines for costs associated with their infrastructure improvements. Small railroads can claim a state tax credit equal to 50% of their eligible track maintenance costs, capped at $5,000 per track mile.

The state of Kansas passed similar legislation a week earlier. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Oregon also offer similar short-line tax credit programs, and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) leaders hope more states will be added to that list soon.

A number of states offer grant programs to help fund small roads’ infrastructure upgrades, too, and there are some similar opportunities at various local levels.

Then there’s the funding assistance available at the federal level: the now-permanent 45G tax credit program; the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements, Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development and Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity programs, which are better known as the CRISI, BUILD and RAISE grants; and the newly minted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

That’s a lot opportunities for small roads to tap for help with funding infrastructure upgrades. In the video below, ASLRRA President Chuck Baker wades through the many grant and tax credit programs with Progressive Railroading Managing Editor Jeff Stagl.