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Supreme Court of the United States
December 3, 1973, Argued ; March 4, 1974, Decided
[*337] [***373] [**1147] MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.
The Independent Offices Appropriation Act, 1952, Tit. 5, 65 Stat. 290, 31 U. S. C. § 483a, provides in relevant part: ] "It is the sense of the Congress that any work, service . . . benefit, . . . license, . . . or similar thing of value or utility performed, furnished, provided, granted . . . by any Federal agency . . . to or for any person (including . . . corporations [****4] . . .) . . . shall be self-sustaining to the full extent possible, and the head of each Federal agency is authorized by regulation . . . to prescribe therefor . . . such fee, charge, or price, if any, as he shall determine . . . to be fair and equitable taking into consideration direct and indirect cost to the Government, value to the recipient, public policy or interest served, and other pertinent facts . . . ." 2 [****6] [***374] Petitioner is a [**1148] trade association representing [*338] community antenna television (CATV) systems which transmit TV programs by cable. The Federal Communications Commission is authorized to regulate these CATV outlets, as the Court held in United States v. Southwestern Cable Co., 392 U.S. 157. The power to regulate, though not in the form of granting licenses, [*339] extends to the promulgation of regulations requiring the compulsory origination of programs by CATV. United States v. Midwest Video Corp., 406 U.S. 649. These CATV's, however, are not under the exclusive oversight of the Commission. Local governments and even some States provide permits or franchises to CATV's, including rights [****5] of way for the cables used. Some communities in return for their permits require the CATV to pay an annual percentage fee as a gross receipts tax. 3
The Commission in 1964 established only nominal filing fees that produced revenues which approximated 25% of the Commission's annual appropriation. See 21 F. C. C. 2d 502, 503. [****7] See also Aeronautical Radio, Inc. v. United States, 335 F.2d 304. The Bureau of the Budget urged higher fee schedules; and so did the committees of the Congress. See H. R. Rep. No. 91-316, pp. 7-8, and H. R. Conf. Rep. No. 91-649, p. 6, where it was stated:
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
415 U.S. 336 *; 94 S. Ct. 1146 **; 39 L. Ed. 2d 370 ***; 1974 U.S. LEXIS 107 ****; 5 P.U.R.4th 466; 29 Rad. Reg. 2d (P & F) 1001
NATIONAL CABLE TELEVISION ASSN., INC. v. UNITED STATES ET AL.
Prior History: [****1] CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT.
Disposition: 464 F.2d 1313, reversed and remanded.
broadcasting, public policy, regulation, recipient, costs
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