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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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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