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12/23/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Health care bill debate diverts Senate's attention from short-line tax credit measure, ASLRRA says


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The Senate’s all-out focus on the health care bill has put the Short Line Rehabilitation Tax Credit bill (S. 461/H.R. 1132) on hold. The Senate has postponed consideration of the extension and enhancement of the tax credit until early next year, even though the measure gained support from a majority of Senate and House members, according to an item included in the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s (ASLRRA) “Views & News” newsletter released yesterday.

The ongoing health care bill debate precludes the Senate from spending any remaining legislative days before the holiday break on a tax extenders measure — which might have included S. 461 — or estate tax bills, ASLRRA lobbyists said in the news item.

The association and its lobbyists plan to push the Senate to take action on S. 461 after Congress reconvenes on Jan. 19. They hope to secure an extension that would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010.

S. 461 proposes to extend the Section 45G railroad track maintenance credit, which is set to expire on Dec. 31, an additional three years. The bill also would enable track acquired or created between 2005 and 2009 to qualify for the tax credit and increase the credit limitation from $3,500 per mile of owned or leased track to $4,500.


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