A tax credit for short line railroad infrastructure was derailed in the Senate last week, the casualty of a partisan dispute over how to pay for tax credits.
"We are extremely disappointed this hasn't moved forward," said Chuck Baker, president of the National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association. "If we could get it as a stand alone vote we think it would pass overwhelmingly."
The tax credit, which expired last December, provides a 50 percent tax credit for any infrastructure investment on a short line railroad, up to $3,500 per track mile owned, Baker said.
It was one of several tax credits included in a package sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., taken up by the Senate June 10. Others included $9 million for auxiliary power units for heavy trucks, and $1.117 billion for transportation projects in New York.
Baker said he was optimistic the tax credit will pass this year.
"They have projects ready to go," said Baker, "but they don't happen overnight."