The proposed tax on railway fuel is not a fair or equitable tax. Road tax charged on fuel for trucks is used to maintain the roads which they use and destroy. The railroads of the United States pay for and perform their own roadway maintenance. They also own the right of way upon which their tracks are located and pay property tax on this property, which is often taxed at a higher rate than that of our property. If a right of way is 100 feet wide (which is narrow) and only one mile long, it contains 12.12 acres, all of which is taxed. Union Pacific has 1,269 miles of track in Utah, which equates to 15,380 acres. This example is not a true representation of the acreage owned by the Union Pacific because not all right of way is only 100 feet wide and there is property owned for purposes other than track right of way. This would only be for Union Pacific.

As you can see, there is no reason to tax locomotive fuel. The railroad was, in most cases, there first. The railroads are required to maintain their portion of highway crossings and also signaling at crossings. To charge a “road” tax on an entity that does not use roads is not fair or equitable.

Charles Persinger

West Point

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!