U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) on Feb. 4 introduced the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2015 (H.R. 721), which would extend the Section 45G short-line track maintenance tax credit that expired at 2014's end.
The bill proposes to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify and extend the track credit through 2015, and perhaps beyond. The Section 45G provision enables regionals and short lines to claim a tax credit of 50 cents for every dollar invested in track rehabilitation, up to a cap equal to $3,500 times their total track miles. Jenkins and several other congressmen have introduced a similar bill the past several years in an effort to extend the tax credit.
"The Short Line Railroad Tax Credit helps maximize private infrastructure investment and allows these railroads to provide their customers with more customized and competitively priced service," said Jenkins in a press release. "This bipartisan proposal ensures the continuation of the vital link between our communities and the national freight railroad network."
H.R. 721, which currently has three co-sponsors, was referred to the House Ways And Means Committee.
"I am proud to support our nation's short line railroads. These successful small companies supply an invaluable service to our nation’s rail backbone," said Blumenauer. "By leveraging this tax credit to redevelop track and track spurs critical to the first and last mile of connectivity to factories, grain elevators, power plants, refineries, mines and other facilities, these companies provide the key transportation link for rail customers employing more than one million Americans."