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09.34.03.01-.02 - Office of Cemetery Oversight - Pending Regulations

 

PROPOSED ACTION ON REGULATIONS
MARYLAND REGISTER, VOLUME 40, ISSUE 3,
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2013

Subtitle 34 OFFICE OF CEMETERY OVERSIGHT

Authority: Business Regulation Article, §§ 5-204, 5-205, 5-303, 5-307, 5-312, 5-404, 5-605 and 5-710, Annotated Code of Maryland, Annotated Code of Maryland

09.15.03 Fees

Notice of Proposed Action
[13-056-P]

The Office of Cemetery Oversight proposes to amend Regulations .01 and .02 under COMAR 09.34.03 Fees.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this action is to increase revenues available to the Office of Cemetery Oversight Fund. Statutory provisions require that the revenues generated by the Office be sufficient to cover operating expenses, including all direct and indirect costs incurred. The Director has determined that the proposed increase in fees is necessary to balance expenditure requirements with available revenues, maintain a positive fund balance, enable enhanced oversight of regulated cemeteries, and provide more efficient licensing services.

Comparison to Federal Standards

There is no corresponding federal standard to this proposed action.

Estimate of Economic Impact

I. Summary of Economic Impact. The proposed action adjusts the per contract fee charged to the cemetery or burial goods business by the Office to the level needed to generate revenues sufficient to fully offset the costs of operating this self-funded regulatory agency. The proposed increase affects licensees and permit holders at the time of renewal. While the cemetery or burial goods business may not discretely identify the per contract fee in their schedule of consumer charges, it is assumed that this fee becomes a cost of doing business and will be passed on to the consumer in whole or in part.

 
Revenue (R+/R-)
 
II. Types of Economic
Impact.
Expenditure
(E+/E-)
Magnitude

A. On issuing agency:
Increased Revenue

R+

$310,000 over 2 years
 
B. On other State agencies: NONE
 
C. On local governments: NONE
Benefit (+)
Cost (-)
Magnitude

D. On regulated industries or trade groups:
 For-Profit Cemeteries and Burial Goods Dealers


(-)


$310,000 over 2 years
 
E. On other industries or trade groups: NONE
 
F. Direct and indirect effects on public:
  Consumers


(+)


Indeterminable
 

III. Assumptions. (Identified by Impact Letter and Number from Section II.)

A. Based on a projected 62,000 contracts reported over a two-year licensing cycle.

D. The referenced registrants/permit holders shall, in the aggregate pay an additional $5 for each of the 62,000 contracts projected to be reported during the licensing period.

F. While registrants cannot discretely charge this fee to consumers, it is likely recovered in whole or in part as a cost of doing business. However, in the context of the overall size of the typical consumer contract, an increase of $5 is not an unreasonable cost in order to assure that there is an empowered regulator to whom consumers have recourse at a very difficult and vulnerable time when dealing with the death of loved ones.

Economic Impact on Small Businesses

The proposed action has minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.

Impact on Individuals with Disabilities

The proposed action has no impact on individuals with disabilities.

Opportunity for Public Comment

Comments may be sent to Marilyn Harris Davis, Director, Office of Cemetery Oversight, 500 North Calvert Street, Ste. 300, Baltimore, MD 21202, or call 410-230-6228, or email to mharrisdavis@dllr.state.md.us, or fax to 410-333-6314. Comments will be accepted through March 18, 2013. A public hearing has not been scheduled.

.01 Registration Fees.
  A. Initial registration fees are as follows:
    (1) Registered cemeterian/registered seller who is a sole proprietor of a cemetery or burial goods business—$150 plus [$10] $15 per sales contract of $250 or more entered into within the business’ past 2 fiscal years;
    (2)—(4) (text unchanged)
  B. Registration renewal fees are as follows:
    (1) Registered cemeterian/registered seller who is a sole proprietor of a cemetery or burial goods business—$150 plus [$10] $15 per sales contract of $250 or more entered into within the business’ past 2 fiscal years;
    (2)—(4) (text unchanged)
  C. (text unchanged)

.02 Permit Fees.
  Permit fees are as follows:
  A. Initial permit fee—$200 plus [$10] $15 per sales contract of $250 or more entered into within the business’ past 2 fiscal years;
  B. Permit renewal fee—$200 plus [$10] $15 per sales contract of $250 or more entered into within the business’ past 2 fiscal years;
  C.—E. (text unchanged)

MARILYN HARRIS DAVIS
Director