From: The Honorable Lynn Jenkins
Sent By:
colin.brainard@mail.house.gov

Bill: H.R. 721
Date: 2/23/2017

Dear Colleague:

All across America, small privately owned and operated freight railroads are creating jobs and building for growth.  Short lines invest in and connect their communities to the American economy
and the world beyond and move goods and raw materials for our constituents.  To preserve and improve the private sector’s ability to maintain these important services, we ask you to join us in cosponsoring H.R. 721, the Building Rail Access for Customers and
the Economy, or BRACE Act.  The BRACE Act will permanently extend the Section 45G (26 USC 45G) short line track maintenance tax credit.

Section 45G has had tremendous results.  Short line railroads connect over 10,000 customers across America to the national freight railroad network.  But short line railroading is the most capital-intensive
industry in America.  To keep these lines open, these small businesses need access to capital.  By maximizing private infrastructure investment, Section 45G has allowed these railroads to provide their customers with the service necessary to allow them to
compete in a global economy.    

The BRACE Act will provide safe, efficient, and cost effective transportation to thousands of railroad customers. American short lines bind the nation’s industrial and agricultural heartland
to urban consumers and export opportunities.  They are a lifeline to these communities and the manufacturers, farmers, and local businesses that keep America strong.

The credit helps short lines prioritize infrastructure investments based on market demand and community needs without being subject to the inconsistencies of bureaucratic and political will.
Short lines are “Made in America” with virtually all wood ties, bridge timbers, steel rail, and rock for ballast manufactured in America.  These assets last 40 or more years, and are impossible
to move off-shore.  The vast majority of freight rail infrastructure is maintained by private sector investments that must compete against government owned and funded highway infrastructure.  Section 45G represents a small but powerful incentive to level the
playing field between small entrepreneurial businesses and their taxpayer-funded competitors.

Section 45G is a private solution to a public problem.  Section 45G helps small businesses prioritize infrastructure investments based on market demand and community needs without being a pawn
to the vagaries of bureaucratic and political will.  Section 45G is helping these small businesses overcome decades of infrastructure investment shortfalls created by federal policy decisions and ensure that the vital link between our communities and the national
freight railroad network will be preserved. 

Reducing taxes on these small businesses maximizes their ability to invest in private sector transportation assets that strengthen our local economies and benefit customers in our districts. 

The 45G credit has produced the results hoped for when 285 of our House and Senate colleagues joined in supporting the creation of Section 45G in 2004 (H.R. 876/S. 1703).  Following that success,
292 supported a temporary extension in the 110th Congress (H.R. 1584/S. 881), 314 supported a temporary extension in the 111th Congress (H.R. 1132/S. 461), 307 supported a temporary  extension in the 112th Congress (H.R. 721/S. 672), 302 supported a temporary
extension in the 113th Congress (H.R. 721/S. 411), 315 supported a temporary extension during the 114th Congress (H.R. 721/S. 637), and 281 supported permanency last year (H.R. 4626/S. 2595).  We look forward to similar levels of support this Congress for
the permanent extension.

Please contact Colin Brainard (5-6601) with Rep. Lynn Jenkins, CPA (R-KS) or Laura Thrift (5-4811) with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to join in this effort.

 

            Sincerely,

 

_________________                         _________________

Lynn Jenkins, CPA                             Earl Blumenauer

Member of Congress                          Member of Congress

 

_________________                          _________________

Rodney Davis                                     Dan Lipinski

Member of Congress                           Member of Congress