Broadcast Client Advisory: FY 2013 Regulatory Fee Proposals

Executive Summary: The FCC has issued a schedule and explanation of the annual regulatory fees it proposes to collect late this Summer for Fiscal Year 2013. It also has proposed a change in its methodology that most likely will increase the fees owed by broadcasters by approximately 7%.

As a result of the Congressional appropriation agreement, the total amount that must be collected remains the same as last year - $339,844,000. However, the FCC seeks to rebalance the amounts to be assessed upon the licensees of each of its primary bureaus. Since 1998, when regulatory fees were first implemented, 30.2% of the total has been allocated to the Media Bureau, based upon the distribution of equivalent full-time employees at that time. A more recent analysis reveals that the percentage of Commission employee resources that are devoted to Media Bureau matters has risen to 37.5%. However, due to a cap of 7.5% on rate increases in any given year, the Media Bureau allocation for FY 2013 would rise only to 33.33%. (Presumably, most of the remainder would be applied to a further increase in FY 2014.)

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