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Investors Overpay SEC

Traders Magazine, April 2000

Stuart J. Kaswell

It's time to lower securities transactions fees. Expanding stock market volume has caused federal coffers to overflow with revenue generated from SEC Section 31 fees. The securities industry believes that Congress should reduce these fees and return the money to the investing public.

The securities industry always has believed that user fees, and not general tax revenues, should pay for the cost of running the Securities and Exchange Commission. Congress has established three basic types of fees. The first is a securities transaction fee - the Section 31 fees. By statute, the SEC collects a fee for every share of stock sold on exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange, and on Nasdaq stocks. The fee is 1/300 of 1 percent of the value of the shares sold. It doesn't sound like much, but in 1999 it added up to about $668 million.

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