SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD DECISION DOCUMENT
    Decision Information

Docket Number:  
EP_542_26

Case Title:  
REGULATIONS GOVERNING FEES FOR SERVICES PERFORMED IN CONNECTION WITH LICENSING AND RELATED SERVICES—2018 UPDATE

Decision Type:  
Decision

Deciding Body:  
Entire Board

    Decision Summary

Decision Notes:  
DECISION UPDATED THE BOARD'S FILING FEES TO REFLECT 2018 COST LEVELS. PURSUANT TO THIS UPDATE, 72 FEES WILL BE INCREASED AND 2 WILL BE DECREASED, WHILE 59 WILL BE MAINTAINED AT CURRENT LEVELS.

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    Full Text of Decision

46439 SERVICE DATE – AUGUST 6, 2018

EB

 

Surface Transportation Board

 

DECISION

 

Docket No. EP 542 (Sub-No. 26)

 

REGULATIONS GOVERNING FEES FOR SERVICES PERFORMED

IN CONNECTION WITH LICENSING AND RELATED SERVICES—2018 UPDATE

 

Decided: July 31, 2018

 

Digest:[1] This decision updates the Board’s filing fees to reflect 2018 cost levels. Pursuant to this update, 72 fees will be increased and 2 will be decreased, while 59 fees will be maintained at current levels.

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Surface Transportation Board (STB or Board) is required to update its user fees at least once per year. See 49 C.F.R.  1002.3(a). The Board’s last annual user-fee update was issued in Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection with Licensing & Related Services—2017 Update (2017 Fee Update), EP 542 (Sub-No. 25) (STB served July 28, 2017), and became effective September 1, 2017. This decision updates the Board’s fees based on the cost study formula set forth at 49 C.F.R.  1002.3(d) and other relevant factors.

 

RESULTS FROM THE 2018 UPDATE

 

The Board’s current master Schedule of Filing Fees contains 133 fee items. As discussed further below, as a result of this 2018 update, 72 fees will increase, two will decrease, and 59 will remain unchanged.

 

2018 UPDATE FACTORS

 

The factors that bear on the full-cost calculation of the Board’s fee items are direct labor costs, government fringe benefit costs, and three types of overhead costs: the Operations Overhead factor, the Office Overhead factor, and the Support Services Overhead factor.

 

Direct Labor. Direct labor costs for 2018 reflect a combined Government-wide 1.4% general and 0.89% locality salary increase that took effect in January 2018. See Exec. Order No. 13819, 83 Fed. Reg. 12207 (March 20, 2018).[2]

 

Government Fringe Benefits. No updates have been instituted with respect to the Government Fringe Benefit Cost factor. Therefore, the Government Fringe Benefit Cost factor used in the update formula remains at 56.25%.[3]

 

Operations Overhead. The Operations Overhead factor accounts for the time devoted by Office Directors, Deputy Directors, and any Directors’ assistants or administrative staff. Based on fiscal year (FY) 2017 labor data, the updated Operations Overhead factor is 18.67%, a 2.92 percentage point decrease from last year’s level of 21.59%.

 

Office Overhead. The Office Overhead factor accounts for non-labor costs in the following seven categories: (1) Property Movement; (2) Rent and Utilities; (3) Printing; (4) Services to the Board; (5) Materials and Supplies; (6) Equipment Procurement; and (7) Property Indemnities/Other-Legal Settlement. Based on FY 2017 levels, the Office Overhead factor is 32.66%, an increase from last year’s level of 27.60%.

 

Support Services Overhead. The Support Services Overhead factor accounts for the time devoted to all Board-wide support services, such as the mailroom staff, the information technology department, the financial services department, and the human resources department. This factor decreased slightly from 13.96% to 13.47%, as compared to last year’s decision.

 

The 2018 full cost level for each fee item developed from the cost factors discussed above is set forth in column 10 of APPENDIX A.[4]

 

FULL COST RESULTS

 

Increases to direct labor costs and changes to all three of the Board’s overhead cost factors contribute to bottom-line results for each fee item in the schedule. As a result, 74 of the Board’s 133 fee schedule items (or 55.6%) must be adjusted to cover the complete 2018 full cost levels as compared to the 2017 Fee Update full cost levels.[5] See 49 C.F.R.  1002.3(e).

 

Certain fees remain unchanged because the Board has capped certain filing fees out of a concern that higher fees for particular matters could have a chilling effect on the ability of some parties to bring an issue to the Board’s attention, or because certain types of actions were deemed to benefit the general public. There have been no changes to the number of capped fee items. The following categories of fees are capped: (1) formal complaint fees;[6] (2) six fee items introduced and capped by the Board in 2002;[7] and (3) certain other fees that historically have been held well below the full cost level.[8]

 

FEDERAL REGISTER COST

 

The United States Government Printing Office (GPO) recently reduced Federal Register publication costs from $159 per column to $151 per column. U.S. Gov’t Publ’g Office, Circular Letter No. 1003 (March 28, 2018). Therefore, a cost factor of 0.94968553 ($151/$159) has been applied to publication costs in this year’s update.

 

COMPARISON OF FEE LEVELS FOR YEARS 2017 AND 2018

 

In order to show clearly the changes to user fees, a comparison table between the new 2018 fee levels and last year’s 2017 fee levels is provided in APPENDIX C. The changes are summarized in the following table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fee Item Change Category:

 

Number of

User Fees

 

Percent of Total

User Fee Schedule

No Change in Fee

59

44.4%

Increases of $1 to $50

18

13.5%

Increases of $100

17

12.8%

Increases of $200 to $500

21

15.8%

Increases of $700 to $2,800

8

6.0%

Increases of $11,400 to $57,000

8

6.0%

Decreases of $1 to $50

2

1.5%

TOTAL

133

100%

 

 

NOTICE AND COMMENT REQUIREMENT

 

The fee changes adopted here generally are a product of the mechanical application of the current update formula at 49 C.F.R.  1002.3(d), which was adopted through notice and comment procedures in Regulations Governing Fees for Services Performed in Connection with Licensing & Related Services—1987 Update, 4 I.C.C.2d 137 (1987), as well as existing Board policy regarding capped fees. Additionally, this decision does not contain any new proposed fee items. Therefore, as with prior fee updates, we find good cause to conclude that notice and comment are unnecessary for this proceeding. See 5 U.S.C.  553(b); 2013 Fee Update, slip op. at 6.

 

It is ordered:

 

1. 49 C.F.R. Part 1002 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as indicated in APPENDIX B. Notice of the final rules adopted here will be transmitted to Congress pursuant to the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-21, 110 Stat. 847-75 (1996).

 

2. Notice of this decision will be published in the Federal Register.

 

3. These rules are effective on September 5, 2018.

 

By the Board, Board Members Begeman and Miller.


 

APPENDIX A

 

 

 

 

FEE

 

 

2017

DIRECT

LABOR

 

2018 DIRECT LABOR UPDATE

[(2017 LEVEL X INCR. (2.88%)]

 

 

(56.25%)

GOVT.

FRINGES

 

 

 

TOTAL

3+4

 

 

(18.67%)

OPERATIONS

OVERHEAD

 

 

(32.66%)

OFFICE

G&A

 

 

(13.47%)

BOARD

G&A

 

 

 

PUBLICATION

COSTS

 

 

 

TOTAL

SUM (5‑9)

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

6

 

7

 

8

 

9

10

 

1

$1,846.39

$1,888.67

$1,062.38

$2,951.05

$551.09

$1,143.86

$625.66

$4.00

$5,275.65

2i

$778.41

$796.24

$447.88

$1,244.12

$232.33

$482.24

$263.77

$179.61

$2,402.07

2ii

$1,207.78

$1,235.44

$694.93

$1,930.37

$360.48

$748.24

$409.26

$323.80

$3,772.16

2iii[9]

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$3,131.52

3

$11,445.00

$11,707.09

$6,585.24

$18,292.33

$3,415.96

$7,090.34

$3,878.19

$179.61

$32,856.44

4i

$1,846.39

$1,888.67

$1,062.38

$2,951.05

$551.09

$1,143.86

$625.66

$179.61

$5,451.27

4ii

$44.37

$45.39

$25.53

$70.92

$13.24

$27.49

$15.04

$0.00

$126.69

5

$208.25

$213.02

$119.82

$332.84

$62.16

$129.01

$70.57

$5.00

$599.58

6

$595.93

$609.58

$342.89

$952.47

$177.87

$369.19

$201.93

$259.53

$1,960.99

11i

$2,968.62

$3,036.60

$1,708.09

$4,744.69

$886.04

$1,839.10

$1,005.93

$151.00

$8,626.77

11ii

$635.67

$650.23

$365.76

$1,015.99

$189.73

$393.81

$215.40

$276.84

$2,091.77

11iii

$5,169.09

$5,287.46

$2,974.20

$8,261.66

$1,542.81

$3,202.33

$1,751.57

$179.61

$14,937.98

12i

$31,022.66

$31,733.08

$17,849.86

$49,582.94

$9,259.27

$19,218.99

$10,512.17

$194.14

$88,767.51

12ii

$635.67

$650.23

$365.76

$1,015.99

$189.73

$393.81

$215.40

$276.84

$2,091.77

12iii

$31,022.66

$31,733.08

$17,849.86

$49,582.94

$9,259.27

$19,218.99

$10,512.17

$194.14

$88,767.51

12iv

$6,162.58

$6,303.71

$3,545.84

$9,849.54

$1,839.33

$3,817.81

$2,088.22

$0.00

$17,594.91

13

$9,528.59

$9,746.80

$5,482.57

$15,229.37

$2,843.98

$5,903.10

$3,228.81

$176.17

$27,381.42

14i

$2,513.06

$2,570.61

$1,445.97

$4,016.58

$750.07

$1,556.88

$851.56

$179.61

$7,354.70

 

14ii

$635.67

$650.23

$365.76

$1,015.99

$189.73

$393.81

$215.40

$276.84

$2,091.77

 

14iii

$2,680.08

$2,741.45

$1,542.07

$4,283.51

$799.92

$1,660.35

$908.16

$198.20

$7,850.13

15

$641.70

$656.40

$369.22

$1,025.62

$191.53

$397.54

$217.44

$154.44

$1,986.58

 

16

$2,427.97

$2,483.57

$1,397.01

$3,880.58

$724.67

$1,504.16

$822.73

$220.12

$7,152.25

 

17

$8,760.63

$8,961.25

$5,040.70

$14,001.96

$2,614.77

$5,427.34

$2,968.58

$151.00

$25,163.64

 

21i

$9,179.39

$9,389.59

$5,281.65

$14,671.24

$2,739.75

$5,686.76

$3,110.48

$151.00

$26,359.23

 

21ii

$1,370.30

$1,401.68

$788.44

$2,190.12

$408.99

$848.92

$464.33

$383.24

$4,295.60

 

21iii

$2,544.02

$2,602.27

$1,463.78

$4,066.05

$759.31

$1,576.06

$862.05

$220.12

$7,483.59

 

22

$198.52

$203.06

$114.22

$317.29

$59.25

$122.98

$67.27

$0.00

$566.79

 

23

$792.09

$810.23

$455.76

$1,265.99

$236.41

$490.71

$268.40

$0.00

$2,261.52

 

24

$757.97

$775.33

$436.12

$1,211.45

$226.23

$469.57

$256.84

$0.00

$2,164.09

 

25

$651.97

$666.90

$375.13

$1,042.03

$194.59

$403.91

$220.92

$0.00

$1,861.45

 

26

$9,447.53

$9,663.88

$5,435.93

$15,099.81

$2,819.79

$5,852.88

$3,201.34

$0.00

$26,973.82

27i

$488.82

$500.02

$281.26

$781.28

$145.90

$302.83

$165.64

$0.00

$1,395.65

 

27ii

$191.70

$196.09

$110.30

$306.38

$57.22

$118.76

$64.96

$0.00

$547.32

 

36

$7,825.56

$8,004.76

$4,502.68

$12,507.44

$2,335.68

$4,848.05

$2,651.73

$179.61

$22,522.50

 

37

$4,190.95

$4,286.92

$2,411.39

$6,698.32

$1,250.86

$2,596.35

$1,420.12

$179.61

$12,145.27

 

38i

$619,127.47

$633,305.49

$356,234.34

$989,539.82

$184,789.68

$383,558.40

$209,794.19

$5,549.35

$1,773,231.45

 

38ii

$123,827.97

$126,663.63

$71,248.29

$197,911.93

$36,958.68

$76,713.22

$41,959.68

$1,109.86

$354,653.36

 

38iii

$2,513.06

$2,570.61

$1,445.97

$4,016.58

$750.07

$1,556.88

$851.56

$1,418.89

$8,593.97

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEE

 

 

2017

DIRECT

LABOR

 

2018 DIRECT LABOR UPDATE

[(2017 LEVEL X INCR. (2.88%)]

 

 

(56.25%)

GOVT.

FRINGES

 

 

 

TOTAL

3+4

 

 

(18.67%)

OPERATIONS

OVERHEAD

 

 

(32.66%)

OFFICE

G&A

 

 

(13.47%)

BOARD

G&A

 

 

 

PUBLICATION

COSTS

 

 

 

TOTAL

SUM (5‑9)

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

6

 

7

 

8

 

9

10

38iv

$595.93

$609.58

$342.89

$952.47

$177.87

$369.19

$201.93

$259.53

$1,960.99

38v

$2,513.06

$2,570.61

$1,445.97

$4,016.58

$750.07

$1,556.88

$851.56

$1,418.89

$8,593.97

38vi

$3,836.08

$3,923.92

$2,207.21

$6,131.13

$1,144.95

$2,376.50

$1,299.87

$179.61

$11,132.07

38vii

$2,308.07

$2,360.93

$1,328.02

$3,688.95

$688.89

$1,429.88

$782.10

$0.00

$6,589.82

39i

$619,127.47

$633,305.49

$356,234.34

$989,539.82

$184,789.68

$383,558.40

$209,794.19

$5,549.35

$1,773,231.45

39ii

$123,827.97

$126,663.63

$71,248.29

$197,911.93

$36,958.68

$76,713.22

$41,959.68

$1,109.86

$354,653.36

39iii

$2,513.06

$2,570.61

$1,445.97

$4,016.58

$750.07

$1,556.88

$851.56

$1,418.89

$8,593.97

39iv

$432.54

$442.44

$248.87

$691.32

$129.10

$267.96

$146.57

$279.35

$1,514.30

39v

$2,513.06

$2,570.61

$1,445.97

$4,016.58

$750.07

$1,556.88

$851.56

$1,418.89

$8,593.97

39vi

$3,836.08

$3,923.92

$2,207.21

$6,131.13

$1,144.95

$2,376.50

$1,299.87

$179.61

$11,132.07

39vii

$2,308.07

$2,360.93

$1,328.02

$3,688.95

$688.89

$1,429.88

$782.10

$0.00

$6,589.82

40i

$619,127.47

$633,305.49

$356,234.34

$989,539.82

$184,789.68

$383,558.40

$209,794.19

$5,549.35

$1,773,231.45

40ii

$123,827.97

$126,663.63

$71,248.29

$197,911.93

$36,958.68

$76,713.22

$41,959.68

$1,109.86

$354,653.36

40iii

$2,513.06

$2,570.61

$1,445.97

$4,016.58

$750.07

$1,556.88

$851.56

$1,418.89

$8,593.97

40iv

$400.63

$409.80

$230.51

$640.31

$119.57

$248.19

$135.75

$228.41

$1,372.24

40v

$2,513.06

$2,570.61

$1,445.97

$4,016.58

$750.07

$1,556.88

$851.56

$1,418.89

$8,593.97

40vi

$3,836.08

$3,923.92

$2,207.21

$6,131.13

$1,144.95

$2,376.50

$1,299.87

$179.61

$11,132.07

40vii

$2,308.07

$2,360.93

$1,328.02

$3,688.95

$688.89

$1,429.88

$782.10

$0.00

$6,589.82

41i

$619,127.47

$633,305.49

$356,234.34

$989,539.82

$184,789.68

$383,558.40

$209,794.19

$5,549.35

$1,773,231.45

41ii

$123,827.97

$126,663.63

$71,248.29

$197,911.93

$36,958.68

$76,713.22

$41,959.68

$1,109.86

$354,653.36

41iii

$2,513.06

$2,570.61

$1,445.97

$4,016.58

$750.07

$1,556.88

$851.56

$1,418.89

$8,593.97

41iv

$476.33

$487.24

$274.07

$761.32

$142.17

$295.10

$161.41

$258.86

$1,618.85

41v

$2,513.06

$2,570.61

$1,445.97

$4,016.58

$750.07

$1,556.88

$851.56

$1,418.89

$8,593.97


 

 

 

 

FEE

 

 

2017

DIRECT

LABOR

 

 

2018 DIRECT LABOR UPDATE

[(2017 LEVEL X INCR. (2.88%)]

 

 

(56.25%)

GOVT.

FRINGES

 

 

 

TOTAL

3+4

 

 

(18.67%)

OPERATIONS

OVERHEAD

 

 

(32.66%)

OFFICE

G&A

 

 

(13.47%)

BOARD

G&A

 

 

 

PUBLICATION

COSTS

 

 

 

TOTAL

SUM (5‑9)

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

6

 

7

 

8

 

9

10

 

41vi

$2,680.08

$2,741.45

$1,542.07

$4,283.51

$799.92

$1,660.35

$908.16

$198.20

$7,850.13

 

41vii

$2,308.07

$2,360.93

$1,328.02

$3,688.95

$688.89

$1,429.88

$782.10

$0.00

$6,589.82

 

42

$860.21

$879.91

$494.95

$1,374.86

$256.75

$532.91

$291.49

$327.17

$2,783.17

 

43

$29,031.48

$29,696.30

$16,704.17

$46,400.47

$8,664.97

$17,985.42

$9,837.45

$179.61

$83,067.92

 

44i

$5,318.67

$5,440.47

$3,060.26

$8,500.73

$1,587.45

$3,294.99

$1,802.26

$179.61

$15,365.04

 

44ii

$44.37

$45.39

$25.53

$70.92

$13.24

$27.49

$15.04

$0.00

$126.69

 

45

$330.34

$337.90

$190.07

$527.97

$98.60

$204.65

$111.94

$0.00

$943.15

 

46

$3,264.55

$3,339.31

$1,878.36

$5,217.66

$974.36

$2,022.43

$1,106.21

$179.61

$9,500.28

 

47

$62,790.33

$64,228.23

$36,128.38

$100,356.60

$18,740.90

$38,899.52

$21,276.79

$0.00

$179,273.81

 

48

$76,157.98

$77,902.00

$43,819.87

$121,721.87

$22,730.71

$47,180.97

$25,806.48

$0.00

$217,440.03

 

56i

$173,877.50

$177,859.29

$100,045.85

$277,905.15

$51,896.85

$107,719.62

$58,919.19

$0.00

$496,440.81

 

56ii

$17,251.60

$17,646.66

$9,926.25

$27,572.90

$5,149.05

$10,687.61

$5,845.78

$0.00

$49,255.35

 

56iii

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$150.00

 

56iv

$17,251.60

$17,646.66

$9,926.25

$27,572.90

$5,149.05

$10,687.61

$5,845.78

$0.00

$49,255.35

 

56v

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$150.00

 

56vi

$21,502.47

$21,994.87

$12,372.12

$34,366.99

$6,417.80

$13,321.09

$7,286.21

$0.00

$61,392.08

 

57

$3,700.23

$3,784.97

$2,129.04

$5,914.01

$1,104.40

$2,292.35

$1,253.84

$0.00

$10,564.60

 

58i

$3,476.14

$3,555.74

$2,000.11

$5,555.85

$1,037.52

$2,153.52

$1,177.91

$566.26

$10,491.05

 

58ii

$2,750.51

$2,813.49

$1,582.59

$4,396.08

$820.94

$1,703.98

$932.02

$151.00

$8,004.02

 

59

$2,859.45

$2,924.93

$1,645.27

$4,570.20

$853.45

$1,771.47

$968.94

$179.61

$8,343.67

 

60

$5,666.15

$5,795.90

$3,260.19

$9,056.10

$1,691.16

$3,510.26

$1,920.00

$0.00

$16,177.52

 

61i

$2,762.34

$2,825.60

$1,589.40

$4,414.99

$824.47

$1,711.31

$936.03

$0.00

$7,886.80

 


 

 

 

 

FEE

 

 

2017

DIRECT

LABOR

 

2018 DIRECT LABOR UPDATE

[(2017 LEVEL X INCR. (2.88%)]

 

 

(56.25%)

GOVT.

FRINGES

 

 

 

TOTAL

3+4

 

 

(18.67%)

OPERATIONS

OVERHEAD

 

 

(32.66%)

OFFICE

G&A

 

 

(13.47%)

BOARD

G&A

 

 

 

PUBLICATION

COSTS

 

 

 

TOTAL

SUM (5‑9)

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

6

 

7

 

8

 

9

10

61ii

$157.61

$161.22

$90.69

$251.91

$47.04

$97.64

$53.41

$0.00

$450.00

62

$4,376.27

$4,476.48

$2,518.02

$6,994.51

$1,306.18

$2,711.16

$1,482.92

$0.00

$12,494.76

63i

$7,769.80

$7,947.72

$4,470.59

$12,418.32

$2,319.03

$4,813.50

$2,632.83

$0.00

$22,183.69

63ii

$8,661.31

$8,859.66

$4,983.56

$13,843.21

$2,585.12

$5,365.81

$2,934.93

$0.00

$24,729.07

64

$249.32

$255.03

$143.45

$398.48

$74.41

$154.46

$84.48

$0.00

$711.84

76

$517.89

$529.75

$297.98

$827.73

$154.57

$320.84

$175.49

$2.00

$1,480.63

77

$54.78

$56.04

$31.52

$87.56

$16.35

$33.94

$18.56

$0.00

$156.41

78

$10.31

$10.54

$5.93

$16.48

$3.08

$6.39

$3.49

$0.00

$29.43

79i

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$75.00

79ii

$65.27

$66.76

$37.55

$104.32