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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-87




[49 PA. CODE CH. 36]

Fees for Board Services

[33 Pa.B. 358]

   The State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers (Board) amends § 36.6 (relating to fees) to read as set forth in Annex A.

   The final-form rulemaking raises Board fees for application for certification as a real estate appraiser (whether on the basis of reciprocity or nonreciprocity), application for temporary practice registration, verification of certification or registration status and certification of examination scores. The final-form rulemaking also adds a new fee for application for approval as a continuing education provider and makes changes to the descriptions of certain fees and to the order in which they appear in the fee schedule.

Summary of Comments and Responses to Proposed Rulemaking

   The Board published a notice of proposed rulemaking at 30 Pa.B. 5290 (October 14, 2000), with a 30-day public comment period. The Board received comments from the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors (PAR).

   The Board received comments from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the House Professional Licensure Committee (House Committee) as part of their review of the proposed rulemaking under the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. §§ 745.1--745.15). The Board did not receive comments from the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure (Senate Committee), which also reviewed the amendments in proposed form under the Regulatory Review Act.

   PAR questioned whether the additional revenues generated by the fees (approximately $32,900 during each fiscal biennium) would be applied toward providing services to certificateholders and not toward adding further ''bureaucratic levels'' to the Board's operations. The fees are intended to recoup the Board's actual costs of providing specific services to individual certificateholders and applicants; they are not intended to fund new regulatory initiatives or increases in staffing. By increasing fees to reflect the actual costs of providing the services covered by the fees, the Board ensures that the costs of providing individualized services are borne by the individuals who use those services rather than by the entire regulated community.

   PAR also raised concern that the increase in the application fee for appraiser certification by examination--from $55 to $235--could serve as an economic ''barrier'' to entry into the real estate appraising profession. The Board has no evidence that an increase of $180 in the application fee is likely to dissuade persons from considering a career in real estate appraising; no appraiser trainee or prospective applicant has raised objections to the fee increase. The Board notes that its application fee is still less than the appraiser application fees in neighboring states such as New York ($250), New Jersey ($225--250) and West Virginia ($175--$325).

   IRRC asked the Board to provide a more detailed explanation of the reason for the increase in the application fee for appraiser certification by examination. The original fee of $55 has not been increased since its adoption in 1991. Because the Board had just begun operations at the time the original fee was adopted, the cost calculations underlying the original fee were based on estimates rather than on historical cost data. As stated in the notice of proposed rulemaking, a recent systems audit of the Board's operations conducted by the Revenue Office of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) determined that the $55 application fee did not cover the Board's actual cost of processing an application. The actual cost was calculated by multiplying the hourly compensation rate of Board personnel who review an application times the average number of minutes in the review process, plus a proportionate share of the administrative overhead. The actual costs are broken out as follows:

Board staff (10 hours by credentials evaluator) $212.09
Averaged Board member review $    4.00
Administrative overhead $  19.45
Total Cost $235.54

   To be admitted to the appraiser certification examination, an applicant must establish compliance with Federally mandated education and experience qualifications. The credentials evaluators on the Board's administrative staff review and evaluate the course transcripts submitted by the applicant's education providers and, as necessary, contact the providers for additional information to verify the eligibility of the course offerings for education credit. The credentials evaluators also review a detailed log prepared by the applicant of the applicant's experience as an appraisal assistant. The credentials evaluators select from the applicant's experience log a representative sampling of transactions for further scrutiny; for each transaction selected, the credentials evaluators review the appraisal report that the applicant assisted in preparing as well as an appraisal assistant checklist completed by the applicant's supervising appraiser. The credentials evaluators may seek additional verification of experience by contacting the applicant, the applicant's supervising appraiser and lenders and other appraisal clients who have had dealings with the applicant.

   In a small number of cases, the direct involvement of Board members is required to ascertain whether the applicant has satisfied the education and experience requirements for admittance to the certification examination. Individual Board members may review the application file and interview the applicant; on occasion it may be necessary for the full Board to conduct an evidentiary hearing on the applicant's qualifications.

   IRRC also questioned the rationale for the proposed increase--from $55 to $235--in the application fee for certification as a certified Pennsylvania evaluator under the Assessors Certification Act (63 P. S. §§ 458.1--458.16) Upon rechecking the results of the BPOA's systems audit of the its operations, the Board has determined that the proposed increase in the application fee for certification as a certified Pennsylvania evaluator was submitted in error. Accordingly, the Board has deleted the proposed increase from the final-form rulemaking.

   IRRC also noted an error in the text of the proposed rulemaking regarding the amount of the new fee for approval of a continuing education provider. The preamble of the notice of proposed rulemaking and the fee report form identified the amount of the fee as $85, while the text of the proposed regulation listed the fee as $55. The final-form rulemaking reflects the correct fee of $85. Noting that the Board's fee schedule lists both ''examination fees'' and ''application fees,'' the House Committee and IRRC commented that the nomenclature of the application fees for certified appraisers--''application by examination'' and ''application by reciprocity''--is confusing because it gives the false impression that there are actually two examination fees. The House Committee and IRRC recommended that the application fees for certified appraisers be renamed ''licensure application fee'' and ''licensure by reciprocity.'' The Board does not favor the term ''licensure'' because the appraiser credential issued by the Board under the Real Estate Appraisers Certification Act (REACA) (63 P. S. §§ 457.1--457.19) is a certificate rather than a license. To avoid the confusion cited by the House Committee and IRRC, the Board has renamed the application fees for certified appraisers as ''application (nonreciprocity)'' and ''application (reciprocity).''

   At the suggestion of IRRC, the Board has made the category of ''continuing education provider'' in the fee schedule plural to be consistent with the other fee categories.

Statutory Authority

   Section 5(6) of the REACA (63 P. S. § 457.5(6)) authorizes the Board to establish fees for its operations. Section 9 of the REACA (63 P. S. § 457.9) requires the Board to establish fees by regulation and to ensure that revenues derived from fees are adequate to cover the Board's expenditures over a biennial period.

Fiscal Impact

   The Board projects that the final-form rulemaking will generate additional fee revenues totaling approximately $32,900 during each fiscal biennium. The additional biennial revenues are broken down as follows:

Service Estimated Additional Cost Additional
Fee-Payers Revenues
Application for Certification as 150× $180 =$27,000
Appraiser (Nonreciprocity)
Application for Certification as 10× $15 = $150
Appraiser (Reciprocity)
Application for Temporary Practice 75 × $5 = $375
Application for Approval as 25 × $85 = $2,125
Continuing Education Provider
Certification of Examination 200 × $10 = $2,000
Verification of Certification 250 × $5 = $1,250
or Registration Status
            Total $32,900

Paperwork Requirements

   The final-form rulemaking will require the Board to change certain forms to reflect the revised schedule of user fees. The final-form rulemaking will not create additional paperwork requirements for the regulated community.

Compliance with Executive Order 1996-1

   In accordance with Executive Order 1996-1, ''Regulatory Review and Promulgation,'' the Board, in drafting and promulgating the final-form rulemaking, considered the least restrictive alternative to regulatory costs for services requested by individual certificate holders and applicants.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on October 4, 2000, the Board submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 30 Pa.B. 5290, to IRRC and to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Committees for review and comment.

   Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC and the Committees were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing this final-form rulemaking, the Board has considered the comments received from IRRC, the Committees and the public.

   Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), on November 13, 2002, this final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the House and Senate Committees. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on November 21, 2002, and approved the final-form rulemaking.

Additional Information

   For additional information concerning the final-form rulemaking, contact Michelle T. DeMerice, Administrator, State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649, (717) 783-4866,


   The Board finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of proposed rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the July 31, 1968 (P. L. 469, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2

   (2)  The final-form rulemaking adopted by this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration of the REACA.


   The Board, acting under its authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Board, 49 Pa. Code Chapter 36, are amended by amending § 36.6 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Board shall submit this order and Annex A to the Office of Attorney General and the Office of General Counsel for approval as required by law.

   (c)  The Board shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  The final-form rulemaking shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.


   (Editor's Note:  For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 32 Pa.B. 6016 (December 7, 2002).)

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 16A-7011 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

Annex A







§ 36.6.  Fees.

   The following is the schedule of fees charged by the Board:

   Certification of scores $25
   Verification of certification or registration$15
Certified Real Estate Appraisers
   Application (nonreciprocity)$235
   Application (reciprocity)$40
   Temporary practice registration$30
   Examination fee$100
   Initial certification (if certified on or after 7/1 of odd-numbered years or on or before 6/30 of even-numbered years)$90
   Initial certification (if certified between 7/1 of even-numbered years and 6/30 of odd-numbered years$45
   Biennial renewal fee$105
Certified Broker/Appraisers
   Application (for application period of 9/3/96 to 9/3/98)$40
   Initial certification (if certified between 7/1/97 and 6/30/98)$90
   Initial certification (if certified between 9/3/96 and 6/30/97 or if certified on or after 7/1/98, if the application for initial certification was submitted by 9/3/98)$45
Certified Pennsylvania Evaluators
   Initial certification (if certified on or after 7/1 of odd-numbered years or on or before 6/30 of even-numbered years)$90
   Initial certification (if certified between 7/1 of even-numbered years and 6/30 of odd-numbered years)$45
   Biennial renewal fee$105
Continuing Education Providers
   Application for continuing education provider approval$85
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-87. Filed for public inspection January 17, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]


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