PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The government panel that regulates people who perform massages for pay in South Dakota is going forward with a plan that could lead to higher annual fees for seeking, receiving and renewing licenses.
The state Massage Therapy Board decided unanimously Wednesday to make the request to the South Dakota Legislature.
There are approximately 1,000 massage therapists licensed statewide. The program however has cost more to run than it has received in revenue five of the past six years.
The program managed to finish $3,546 in the black for the government budget year that ended June 30, with $72,458 of revenue and $68,912 expenses.
But board members want lawmakers to let them turn around that longer money-losing trend.
One step would be to start charging up to a $200 application fee. That would be double the current $100. The program handled 102 applications in the past year.
The board also wants to impose a special fee of up to $300 for annual renewals sought after the September 30 expiration and to refuse renewals attempted after November 30. There currently isn’t such a fee or a cut-off.
In the past year, 51 late renewals were accepted. Several board members said Wednesday that reducing late renewals should be a priority.
The board’s proposal also suggests increased caps for nearly all fees, but that would be decided at a later time. Those include:
Licenses, renewals and reactivations — Currently $65, could go to $80. Temporary licenses — Currently $50, could go to $75. Duplicates — Currently $0, could go to $5.