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FCC Regulatory Fee Increases Capped at 7.5%

Fees for 2013 will be due in September and licensees must pay electronically

The increase for FCC regulatory fees is capped at 7.5% this year.

We had reported the commission was revising its formula to more accurately reflect the duties that agency staff actually spends on the industries it regulates.

The FCC says the current fee caps and its revised formula are interim measures. The agency previously opened a rulemaking to examine and reform the fee program so that the money paid by licensees really reflects the current cost of regulating them. Now, the commission says it needs more information to do that and plans to issue another notice soon with the goal of readjusting the fees within three years.

In the meantime, the commission has compromised between keeping the formula the same as last year and raising it a lot. This year’s radio fees are on page 30 of the Report & Order. They range from $645 for an AM Class B serving a population of 25,000 or less to $12,025 for FM Classes B, C, C0, C1 and C2, serving a population of more than three million.

The commission is going “paperless,” and will no longer mail out the initial assessments, nor accept checks. Instead, licensees will need to submit payments electronically in September. The exact due dates will be set by Federal Register publication.