Ask Congress to Rein in the STB (All States)

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) has announced a plan to impose a series of new regulations on freight railroads.

The new rules would undermine today's balanced regulatory framework that enables railroads to earn enough capital to reinvest back into their infrastructure and operations. This framework was established by the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, legislation that brought freight railroads back to financial health and stability after years of federal over-regulation.

Among the agency’s proposed changes, railroads would be required to let competitors use their lines — potentially at below-market rates. This “forced access" proposal is not only at odds with a market-based system, it would compromise the efficiency of the nation’s rail network.

The stakes for the STB’s proposals are significant not just for railroads, but also for the consumers, manufacturers, farmers, ports and others from coast to coast that rely on trains. If passed, the changes would create service problems across the 140,000-mile rail network, jeopardizing everything from energy transportation to passenger rail service.

Freight railroads are leaders in terms of private spending, reinvesting at six times the rate of the average manufacturer back into their network. It would be a costly mistake to stifle this level of investment at a time when railroads are enhancing and expanding their lines to meet the needs of a growing economy.

You can read more about these proposals in GoRail’s issue brief.

To take action, fill out every field below under "Your Information," then edit the draft email as you see fit. Then click "Show Me My Officials" at the bottom of the page to see the legislators you've been matched with and click "Send My Message" to email your members of Congress.

Help Oppose Minnesota Train Tax (MN)

Yet again, Governor Dayton has proposed a massive tax hike – nearly $100 million a year on railroads. These taxes will diminish railroads' ability to enhance safety and have a negative impact on Minnesota farmers, grain companies, mining companies, retailers and ultimately every Minnesotan. 

The proposal would essentially double property taxes on railroads. Approximately $65 million per year of these taxes would go to local units of government to use however they want, not necessarily for safety improvements. Another $33 million in taxes would go to railroad grade crossings even though rarilroads and states already share costs for grade crossing projects and Congress passed a sizable increase in grade crossing funding in December 2015.

Freight railroads spent and invested $500 million in Minnesota and $30 billion natiowide in 2015 on track, signals, rolling stock and new technology. These private investments by railroads into their network grow the economy, create jobs, improve safety and reduce greenhouse emissions. Governor Dayton's proposals would divert money to government use at a time when Minnesota companies and communities are relying on freight rail to haul more goods and strengthen their connection to the competitive global marketplace. 

Please ask your representatives in St. Paul to oppose the Governor's train tax!

To take action, complete EVERY field below (as required by legislative offices) and click Show Me My Officials. Then edit the draft email as you choose and click "Sent My Message." 
 

Help Oppose KW Train Tax (CA;MN)

Yet again, Governor Dayton has proposed a massive tax hike – nearly $100 million a year on railroads. These taxes will diminish railroads' ability to enhance safety and have a negative impact on Minnesota farmers, grain companies, mining companies, retailers and ultimately every Minnesotan. 

The proposal would essentially double property taxes on railroads. Approximately $65 million per year of these taxes would go to local units of government to use however they want, not necessarily for safety improvements. Another $33 million in taxes would go to railroad grade crossings even though rarilroads and states already share costs for grade crossing projects and Congress passed a sizable increase in grade crossing funding in December 2015.

Freight railroads spent and invested $500 million in Minnesota and $30 billion natiowide in 2015 on track, signals, rolling stock and new technology. These private investments by railroads into their network grow the economy, create jobs, improve safety and reduce greenhouse emissions. Governor Dayton's proposals would divert money to government use at a time when Minnesota companies and communities are relying on freight rail to haul more goods and strengthen their connection to the competitive global marketplace. 

Please ask your representatives in St. Paul to oppose the Governor's train tax!

To take action, complete EVERY field below (as required by legislative offices) and click Show Me My Officials. Then edit the draft email as you choose and click "Sent My Message."