VAB Advocates Against 20% Increase to FCC Regulatory Fees in 2019

In the Matter of Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2019, MD Docket No. 19-105.  Comments filed on June 7, 2019.

Vermont Association of Broadcasters, in combination with state broadcasters associations across the country, filed extensive Comments in this proceeding advocating for significant reductions in the FCC’s proposed regulatory fees for radio and television stations in 2019. Read Filed Comments.

The Comments argued that the FCC’s proposed regulatory fees were in part based on defective data, and that the process used to allocate fees among the various industries regulated by the FCC unfairly shifted FCC “overhead” costs to radio and TV stations in the form of higher regulatory fees.  The Comments also argued that the FCC had failed to release adequate information to determine how it had allocated various costs among regulated industries, and that more transparency in the process is required to meet the FCC’s statutory obligations, as well as to permit outside parties to analyze the process and bring errors to the FCC’s attention.

Finally, we noted that Congress had last year passed the RAY BAUM’s Act of 2018, which altered the FCC’s congressional instructions for setting and collecting regulatory fees, and that the FCC’s proposal for 2019 regulatory fees failed to comply with those new requirements to the detriment of broadcasters.

VAB will keep you up-to-date with any new developments as we continue to advocate for lower regulatory fees on your behalf.