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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Freight-rail tax credit bill re-enters the House


A freight-rail tax credit bill is back on Capitol Hill. On Jan. 7, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) introduced the Freight Rail Infrastructure Capacity Expansion Act of 2009 (H.R. 272), which is co-sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

Similar to the Freight Rail Infrastructure Capacity Expansion Acts of 2007 and 2008, H.R. 272 proposes to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a 25 percent tax credit for capital expenditures made by railroads, shippers, ports, trucking companies and other qualified transportation businesses to build or expand track, intermodal facilities, yards or other rail infrastructure. Qualifying expenditures also would include tunnels, communication and signal systems, certain locomotives, bridges, yards, terminals and transload facilities.

The bill — which was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means — would provide the rail industry a funding mechanism to address capacity, a key concern since freight traffic is expected to increase more than 70 percent by 2020 and railroads need to spend about $135 billion by 2035 to address capacity constraints, according to the Association of American Railroads.

H.R. 272 will be a hot topic at the Railroad Day on Capitol Hill, an annual rail industry lobbying event to be held Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/13/2009