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Report No. GN 97-4 GENERAL ACTION March 5, 1997

Commission Proposes FY 1997 Regulatory Fee Schedule

(MD Docket No. 96-186)

The Commission has begun a proceeding to revise its Schedule of Regulatory Fees in order to collect the $152,523,000 in regulatory fees that Congress has required it to collect for Fiscal Year 1997.

The Commission's Regulatory Fees will recover the costs of enforcement, policy and rulemaking, international and user information activities for FY 1997. Additionally, the Commission proposes to amend the Schedule in order to assess regulatory fees upon licensees and/or regulatees of services not previously subject to payment of a fee, to simplify and streamline the Fee Schedule and to clarify and/or revise certain payment procedures. The amount that Congress has required the FCC to collect in FY 1997 is nearly 21% more than the amount Congress designated for recovery for FY 1996.

In the NPRM, the Commission stated these changes would create a system that relies on cost-based fees for services, but determined that total revenues to be collected from a particular service category would not increase more than 25% over the amount that would have been collected if fees had not been cost-based. The Commission's proposed schedule would reduce fees for services whose regulatory costs have declined and adjust fees upward for services that have higher regulatory costs. The Commission stated that these adjustments would allow for a more accurate assessment of regulatory fees. In addition, the methodology proposed in the NPRM would ensure that consistent assessment methods are maintained from year to year.

Action by the Commission February 14 , 1997, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 97-49). Chairman Hundt, Commissioners Quello, Ness, and Chong.

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