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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee suspends short line infrastructure funding
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2528
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
filmteknik wrote:
Otherwise it's a pretty good scam...agree to do this in exchange for being allowed to do that...then when a few years pass file suit to try to cancel the promise you made.


Once again, you are wrong. Try 25-30 years ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee suspends short line infrastructure funding
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2528
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
CoryClaxon wrote:
I have stern stance against CSX because I don't agree with some of their policies



Are you a shareholder? How about a shipper, major or otherwise? What other policies are you against?

CSX, NS, BNSF, CN, UP, etc do not exist for your esthetic enjoyment or to provide mainlines for you to play steam locomotive excursion on or to provide photographic opportunities. They are businesses. Each are owned by shareholders, and thus management has a fiduciary duty to make money and operate the corporation in a way that benefits the shareholder, not the railfan. Sometimes, you can do both, such as UP and NS, but that isn't their first duty.

At the end of the day, CSX is a business. Whether we agree with some of their practices is another issue. However, unless you are a shareholder, your "stance" really doesn't do much, does it?

While I understand the "they agreed to this for us to allow them to sell or abandon their lines" argument, it seems somewhat incorrect. Back in the day, the ICC, not the state determined whether a railroad could abandon or shed trackage. While the state could have put up a fight, it could be viewed as an infringement on interstate commerce. Likely, the railroad management at the time agreed to this to save on the expense of fighting these challenges.

Regardless of whether the agreement is good or not, it is understandable that especially in Tennessee, with the federally subsidized TVA as a major shipper of coal, on barges, that the railroads saw this as a competitive disadvantage. Tennessee has a lot of federally funded improvements to waterway to allow for barge transportation. While the river operators pay into a trust fund, it is nothing like the expense of maintaining mainline railroad track. To my knowledge, diesel used for barge fuel is not taxed at the state level (perhaps someone could confirm or clarify).

The TVA was a major force behind fighting Southern Railway in the 1960s when it wanted to institute bulk rates on grain, the "Big John" case.

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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee suspends short line infrastructure funding
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1240
Location: Chicago USA
wilkinsd wrote:
Once again, you are wrong. Try 25-30 years ago.


Once again? My first post in this thread.

In terms of a 180+ year old industry, that is a few years. And what difference does the lapse of time make? Was there a cap to the agreement? Or did they unilaterally decide enough is enough? They may be legally correct (their agreement not withstanding) that all modes should be taxed the same. But it will be quite amusing if this results in a raising of taxes on them.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee suspends short line infrastructure funding
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:17 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5550
Location: southeastern USA
Jeff Lisowski wrote:
Dave wrote:
Because they agreed to do so in order to be permitted to abandon track they no longer wished to maintain, which the state deemed worthy of saving for future use. It's all back in the thread.......

dave


I have to disagree here Dave.

The previous upper management did, not the current.

Just because previous management created something decades ago which is now costing the present company millions of dollars with quite possibly no benefit to them doesn't make it right.


OK, let's try this: your parents buy a house with a mortgage, and you live there with them. They die, leaving you as sole heir with the loan only half paid off. You tell the bank that holds your mortgage that you like the house and want to continue to live there, but since you didn't originate the mortagage you don't need to continue to pay it.

Or this: you buy a new car with financing for 60 months. In 30 months, you decide that since the loan was for a new car, and your car isn't new any more, you don't nee to pay off the last 30 months of the loan.

Obligations remain even if conditions change.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee suspends short line infrastructure funding
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:05 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 799
Where do we find this mysterious agreement?

And how does it supercede ICC/STB abandonment authority?

The railroads pay road tax on the fuel used by their on-highway vehicles, and that is as it should be.

The railroads, assuming there is such an agreement in place and that it is somehow enforceable, can relatively easily move their fueling activities across state lines and out of TN completely, as UP did long ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Tennessee suspends short line infrastructure funding
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1240
Location: Chicago USA
It was probably an understanding that was never put in writing perhaps to avoid committing to paper something that was fair and beneficial to both parties but technically illegal.

They could indeed move their fueling operations out of state. The state in turn could pass a use tax requiring payment of tax on all fuel used in the state that has not already been subject to state tax. Most states that have a sales tax require payment of use tax on items brought in such as internet purchases. A railroad would have a harder time evading that than the people who skip out on paying tax on their Amazon purchases.

Steve


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