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ASLRRA garners more congressional supporters for short-line tax credit extension

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s (ASLRRA) months-long effort to line up congressional supporters for the Short Line Rehabilitation Tax Credit bill (H.R. 1132/S. 461) is proving successful.

Association lobbyists so far have landed 209 co-sponsors in the House and 48 in the Senate, inching closer to ASLRRA’s goals of 218 House and 51 Senate co-sponsors — which would surpass the halfway point of those chambers’ respective memberships. H.R. 1132/S. 461 proposes to extend the Section 45G railroad track maintenance credit for short lines, which is set to expire on Dec. 31, for three years.

ASLRRA lobbyists also are working to include H.R. 1132/S. 461 in a tax credit extenders bill, which would extend various pieces of legislation governing tax credits that either have expired or soon will expire. The extenders measure likely will be taken up in Congress after the health care bill is agreed upon in both chambers, ASLRRA lobbyists believe.

However, the extenders bill might only extend the short-line tax credit for another two years or one year, says ASLRRA President Richard Timmons. If the credit is extended only one more year, association lobbyists “will be right back at it again next year” to obtain another extension, he says.

“We’re also trying to get the tax credit included in the SAFETEA-LU extension bill. Then we’d get six years at a whack,” says Timmons. “It’ll depend on the circumstances surrounding the bill and who the supporters are.”

Jeff Stagl

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/12/2009