Sen. Moran Sponsors Bill to Spur Investment in Short Line Railroads, Boost Rural Economic Development
Feb 16 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today joined Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to introduce the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act (S. 407). The bipartisan legislation would further extend the short line railroad track maintenance tax credit that expired in 2014.
“Short lines matter greatly to us in Kansas,” said Sen. Moran. “It is critical for Kansas farmers and factories that we have an efficient, cost-effective way to move the commodities and goods produced in our state – and the short line railroad network fits that need. This legislation will help support large areas of the country, including many rural communities across Kansas, where short lines serve as the main connection to the national railroad network and markets far from home.”
“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, as well as coal, chemical, steel and plastics shippers,” said Watco Companies Chief of Global Strategy Ed McKechnie. “Sen. Moran’s tireless efforts in support of rural transportation for more than a decade now to build an enormous bipartisan coalition – first in the House and now in the Senate –have made tremendous impacts. 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.”
The tax credit was established by legislation introduced by then-Rep. 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. Located in the center of America’s heartland, Kansas is one of the leading rail and distribution centers in our country and plays an integral role connecting farmers and factories with communities around the globe. 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.
In addition to Sens. Crapo and Moran, S. 407 is cosponsored by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jonny Isakson (R-Ga.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS-02).