Farm Bureau calls for permanent rail maintenance tax credit
With the Railroad Track Maintenance Tax Credit set to again expire at the end of this year, farmers and ranchers are urging Congress to approve the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act (S. 2595, H.R. 4626), which would permanently extend the 50 percent railroad track maintenance credit for short line railroads.
“Short line railroads are first- and last-mile carriers that connect small towns, farms and factories to the national network, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth in thousands of local communities. Short line railroads operate 50,000 miles of track or nearly 40 percent of the national railroad network and handle in origin or destination one out of every four rail cars moving on the national system,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall wrote in a letter urging House and Senate lawmakers to cosponsor the BRACE Act.
Efficient and cost-effective rail transportation is a must, not only to move to market the food, fiber and fuel farmers and ranchers produce, but for the delivery of equipment, seed, fertilizer and other farm agricultural inputs.
“An efficient rail system reduces the prices farmers pay for supplies and greatly expands domestic market access and access to ports for exports to foreign markets,” Duvall said in the letter.
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In response to the severe drought conditions in the West and Great Plains, the Agriculture Department this week announced that plans to help cover the cost of transporting feed for livestock that rely on grazing.