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FCC Upholds Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2022


FCC
FCC

The FCC has upheld its regulatory fee rates for 2022 of $381.95 million, which includes an 8% increase for radio stations over the last fiscal year, rather than the 13% originally proposed by the Commission. Previously, requests from NAB and State Broadcast organizations questioned the Commission's methodology and argued that the agency assigned a disproportionate share of the costs of the 343 indirect full-time equivalents (FTEs) to the Media Bureau.

The Commission says these regulatory fees cover direct costs, such as salaries and expenses; indirect costs, such as overhead functions; statutorily required tasks that do not directly equate with oversight and regulation of a particular regulate but instead benefit the Commission and the industry as a whole; and support costs such as rent, utilities and equipment.

In a separate Notice of Inquiry, the FCC is seeking further comment on the Commission's methodology for allocating indirect full-time equivalents (FTEs), previously raised in the FY 2022 NPRM.

NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt said in a statement, "NAB is very appreciative of the hard work and thoughtfulness shown by the Commissioners and their staffs to reduce the exorbitant increase broadcasters faced in the FCC's draft regulatory fees order. We are also grateful to the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers who voiced their opposition to overly burdensome regulatory fees that would jeopardize local broadcasters' ability to provide local news, emergency information and community service to millions of Americans.

"Despite these important advances, there is more work to do. We hope the Notice of Inquiry serves as a springboard to a thorough modernization of the FCC's regulatory fee methodology to ensure all parties that utilize and benefit from the Commission's work pay their fair and appropriate share. It is no longer good enough to tinker around the edges. We remain committed to working with the FCC, lawmakers and stakeholders to create a regulatory fee structure that promotes fairness, parity and consistency."

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