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Washington, D.C.— Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) led a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel regarding the significant regulatory fee increase on broadcasters for Fiscal Year 2022.

Emmer is the co-founder and Chair of the Congressional Broadcasters Caucus.

Emmer said, “Our broadcasters provide an essential and free service to the public. This unjustified fee increase is appalling and out-of-step with regulatory costs for any other industry under the FCC’s jurisdiction.”

“These fee hikes will sadly erode already-strained station budgets, and the American people will be forced to pay the price with decreased access to trusted local news and information services. The FCC must not force our broadcasters to shoulder burdensome costs to subsidize some of the largest and most powerful companies in the world,Emmer concluded.

Curtis LeGeyt, President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters said, “The FCC’s regulatory fee proposal would impose a dramatic and unjustified fee increase on local broadcasters. These additional and excessive costs would hamper radio and television stations’ unique service to communities across the country. NAB thanks Rep. Emmer and his colleagues for their bipartisan leadership in working to right-size the FCC’s fees so that broadcasters are not paying more than our share at the expense of the unparalleled free and local service we provide.”

Emmer’s letter asked for the FCC’s reasoning behind their specific fee increases on radio and television broadcasters.

For the 2022 fiscal year, the FCC plans to increase fees on broadcasters by 13%, roughly $7.3 million. The planned rate increase on broadcasters amounts to nearly the entire $7.95 million expansion of the FCC’s budget.

Unlike most other industries under the FCC’s purview, broadcasters are required to provide free services to the public and are not permitted to pass on increased costs.

You can read the text of the letter in full here.