Fee Changes and Proposed New Fees
RECO is proposing adjustments to its fee structure to address resource gaps. We will soon be seeking comments on these proposed adjustments. Read on for more information.
As an Administrative Authority (AA), RECO is obligated to ensure that it has adequate resources to fulfil its mandate and functions under REBBA. RECO began operations in 1997. Brokers and brokerages haven’t been subject to a fee increase for 16 years. The last fee increase for salespersons was 6 years ago, in 2010. While revenues have increased due to a 24% increase in the number of registrants since 2010, there have also been significant increases in workload and costs:
- 34% increase in the number of RECO registration transactions;
- 55% increase in the number of complaints handled;
- 160% increase in the number of inquiries made to RECO; and
- 40% increase in enforcement costs.
What we’ve done in response to these pressures
Since 2010, RECO has made a number of improvements to service delivery while continuing to regulate the sector in a cost-effective manner. Some key initiatives include:
- Better consumer awareness and education, through a new website, advertising, brochures, digital media, staff presence at consumer shows;
- Implementation of online registration services for renewals, transfers, terminations;
- Improved registrant education with direct administration of Mandatory Continuing Education requirements by RECO, up-dated curriculum and online delivery;
- Increased registrant outreach through surveys, trade shows, consultation, advisory group; and
- Streamlined enforcement activities for complaints handling and inspections
Our fee proposal
We can no longer rely on efficiencies and delaying initiatives to address financial issues without severely affecting fulfilment of our mandate and our effectiveness as a regulator. In the absence of increased fees we are projecting deficits in 2016 and beyond. And the projected deficits do not include the costs of maintaining consumer outreach, addressing backlogs in complaints and registration, or the necessary expansion of French language services.
Therefore, we need to implement a modest increase, less than the cost-of-living since 2010, to the registration renewal fee that we pay every two years – raising fees from $350 to $390 – the equivalent of $20 per year. The changes will take effect January 1, 2017
In addition, we are also proposing application review fees for both new and reinstating applicants to cover the unique, one-time costs associated with processing those types of applications.
We will be providing more information about the proposed fees shortly and seeking comments from stakeholders on our revenue strategy for a 45-day consultation period over the summer months.
We will notify registrants and industry stakeholders when the consultation period begins and include instructions on how comments can be provided.