02.20.14

SCHUMER: NY SUSQUEHANNA WESTERN RAILWAY NEEDS EXPIRED SHORT-LINE RAIL TAX CREDIT TO CONTINUE NEEDED TRACK MAINTENANCE AND KEEP RAIL LINES SAFE SENATOR LAUNCHES PLAN TO RESTORE CAPITAL FUNDING FOR RAIL IMPROVEMENTS

brNew York Susquehanna and Western Railway (NYSW) is an Essential Connecting Railway for NY Businesses That Transport Products to Port of NY for Export Railway Has Long Relied on Tax Credit to Complete Necessary Track Maintenance and UpgradesbrbrbrNYSW Has Saved Over $7.5 Million over the Course of the Tax Credit Would Carry out Another $2.5-3 Million in Infrastructure Improvements if Schumers Push is SuccessfulbrbrbrSchumer: Short-Line Rail is the Engine of Local Economy and Needs Fed Tax Cre

Today at the New York Susquehanna and Western Railway Headquarters, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer launched his push for the  Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act to restore and extend a crucial tax credit to shortline railroads, like the New York Susquehanna and Western Railway (NYSW), for infrastructure improvement projects through 2016.  Schumer explained that the NYSW is an important connector for New York businesses to ship their products to regional terminuses and beyond using locations like the Port of New York for export, especially agricultural businesses transporting commodities like lumber, feed ingredients, motor vehicles and more. Schumer highlighted that the NYSW Railroad is particularly important to the transportation of grains from Upstate New York's grain producers to the Port of New York, where they are then shipped around the world.  The NYSW has already taken advantage of over $7 million from this tax credit and is looking to maintain and upgrade rail infrastructure to keep shipments running quickly and safely.  According to the railway, Schumer's bill would allow the NYSW Railroad to undertake an additional $2.53 million in infrastructure improvements over the next two years.

 

The shortline rail tax credit expired on January 1 st of this year, but Schumer's bill would restore the credit and extend it through 2016.  The tax credit is valued at fifty percent of the cost of track maintenance and improvements, up to $3,500 per mile. The Senator was joined by Jeff Katz, Mayor of Cooperstown; Barbara Ann Heegan, President/CEO of the Otsego Chamber of Commerce; Patricia Szarpa, Executive Director Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce; and Nathan Fenno, President New York Susquehanna and Western Railway. 

 

"The New York Susquehanna and Western Railroad has numerous opportunities for growth and development, but only if they have the capital to make needed infrastructure improvements.  That's why I'm fighting to extend the expiring federal tax credit for shortline railroads that will help the New York Susquehanna and Western Railroad maintain and upgrade their tracks, so they can keep their sterling track record of safe and speedy deliveries," said Schumer.  "The NYSW is a crucial shipping line that has fueled the growth of our upstate exporters, especially grain producers, who need a reliable, quick delivery route to the Port of New York and destinations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  With this tax credit, we can expand the number of businesses they serve and keep the rail in tiptop shape. Connecting Upstate businesses with the national rail network and international ports of call makes the NYSW an essential rail service, and it creates jobs for all of the region's major employers who rely on it."

 

Schumer explained that the tax credit, if extended through 2016, would fund capital improvement projects along the NYSW freight line.  Over the course of the life of the tax credit, New York Susquehanna and Western has used roughly $7.5 million in tax credits to take on about $15 million dollars in track upgrades that would've been difficult to undertake without the presence of the Short line Rail tax credit.  The tax credits were used to replace railroad ties, solidify the surface under the railroad, and make other general maintenance improvements to the railroad. The tax credit allows New York Susquehanna and Western not only to improve the efficiency of travel their railroad, but also allows them to maintain their good safety record. 

 

 The NYSW believes it would undertake an additional $2.53 million in maintenance and upgrades if the tax credit were extended.  Schumer noted that the NYSW 400 mile track is a particularly long stretch of track for a short line railroad, which puts track maintenance and upkeep at a premium.  The tax credit would allow the NYSW to undertake more projects on more miles of track than without the credit.

 

Among other industries, the New York Susquehanna and Western Railroad is especially integral in the transport of grains, namely soy beans, from Upstate New York's grain producers to the Port of New York where dealers can export the grains all over the world.  Schumer said this makes the New York Susquehanna and Western railroad a major vein for New York's agricultural industry, as it carries about 1,500 cars a year of grain exports to the Port of New York.   The Short Line Rail Tax Credit allows New York Susquehanna and Western to ensure safe, efficient passage of products from Upstate New York to other parts of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and throughout the world.

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