NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Financial Fees Are Diverted

July 29, 2002

Both President Bush and a Senate Committee have proposed budget increases for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to enable it to investigate more corporations and enforce federal laws. But as the Dallas Morning New points out, the fees collected by the agency generate all the money it needs -- if only Congress would let it keep more of it.

  • The fees the SEC collects on corporate registrations, transactions and various filings amounted to $2.1 billion in 2001.
  • However, this money goes to the U.S. Treasury -- where most of it is used to cover the federal deficit.
  • The SEC received only received $423 million from Congress in 2001.

With only about 20 percent of the money collected from businesses and investors, the SEC was only able to review just about 2,200, or 16 percent, of corporate annual reports due to a lack of staff.

Source: Editorial, "SEC Handcuffed: Fees ought to be used for enforcement," Dallas Morning News, July 22, 2002.


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