Sen. Moran Sponsors Bill to Spur Investment in Short Line Railroads, Boost Rural Economic Development
"It is vital that we extend this tax credit so that rail operators will be able to increase their capacity and small businesses and ag producers across the country can continue to get their commodities and goods to market in a cost-effective and efficient way."
Mar 11 2015
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, is a sponsor of the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2015 – legislation introduced this week to extend the short line railroad track maintenance tax credit which expired in 2014. The tax credit was established by legislation introduced by then-Congressman Jerry Moran in 2004 to encourage railroads, railroad customers and suppliers – who depend the most on short line railroads – to invest directly in maintaining the more than 2,000 miles of short line rails in Kansas. Kansas has also become one of the leading rail and distribution centers in our country.
“The short line railroad network is a significant component of our transportation system and plays an integral role in connecting farmers and factories with communities around the globe,” Sen. Moran said. “I was proud to introduce the legislation that created this tax credit in 2004 to help support large areas of the country, including rural communities like those across Kansas, where short lines are the only connection to the national railroad network.”
“Over the past five years, the short line railroad tax credit has generated $1.5 billion in railroad infrastructure investment, as well as created and preserved thousands of jobs,” Sen. Moran continued. “It is vital that we extend this tax credit so that rail operators will be able to increase their capacity and small businesses and ag producers across the country can continue to get their commodities and goods to market in a cost-effective and efficient way.”
The short line railroad track maintenance credit provides short line and regional railroads a 50 percent tax credit for railroad track maintenance expenses, up to $3,500 per mile of track owned or leased by the railroad. This credit has been crucial to rehabilitating short line and regional railroads around the country. These short line railroads serve as a lifeline to many Kansas agricultural producers and manufacturers, making certain their products can get to market in an efficient and cost-effective manner. This important provision expired at the end of 2014.
“The team members on the South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad, Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad, Kaw River Railroad, and our Pittsburg headquarters staff come to work every day to focus on the needs of Kansas farmers, cement plants, and coal, chemicals, steel and plastics shippers,” said Ed McKechnie, Watco Companies Chief Commercial Officer and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) Chairman. “Sen. Moran has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to build a huge bipartisan coalition – first in the House and now in the Senate – in support of rural transportation. We appreciate his leadership and we will continue to put our customers first and invest in Kansas infrastructure with the support of this important bill.”
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