On Friday, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish the fees and collection procedures for the 2007 regulatory fees – the amount that entities regulated by the FCC pay for the privilege of being regulated.  These fees reimburse the US Treasury for the cost of the regulation.  While no one likes to pay these fees, the total amount to be collected by the FCC is actually slightly less than last year, meaning that the proposed regulatory fees for broadcasters are not proposed to increase from the fees paid last year. The proposed fees for broadcasters for 2007, and the fees that were paid in 2006, are found in the attachment to the FCC’s Notice.  Fees will be paid at a date to be established later, sometime in August or September.

For radio stations, the fees are based on the Class of station, and the population served by that station.  These fees range from $400 for a Class C AM station serving less than 25,000 people, to $9125 for a Class B or C2 or higher FM station serving over 3,000,000 people.  For AM stations, population is computed based on the 5 mv/m service area.  For FM stations, it is based on the 70 dbu contour.

TV stations will pay between $64,300 for a VHF station in the Top 10 markets, to $1750 for UHF stations in markets below 100.  LPTV stations and TV translators will pay $450.  For each broadcast auxiliary license, a broadcaster will pay $10.

According to the Notice, the FCC plans to mail to each station a statement of the amounts that are to be paid.  Notice will be sent to the broadcaster’s primary contact point, as set out in the Commission’s CDBS database.  To check the address that the FCC has for your station, go here, and type in your call letters, and hit the "Submit Station Search" key at the bottom of the page.  When the information about your station comes up, hit the link that says "Click for Details," and you can see if the FCC has the correct address for your station.  If that information is not correct, you should file a correction, as that is the address that the FCC has on file for your station, and the address that it will use for all official correspondence.

Comments on the proposed fees and the collection procedures are due May 3, and replies on May 11. Look for a final order in the early summer setting the due date for the fees.