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Doubling of cremation fee frustrates funeral directors

July 2, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts medical examiner’s office wants to double the fee it charges to examine a body before it’s cremated, frustrating funeral directors who say the state is trying to boost revenue of the backs of grieving families.

The proposal, which officials expect to put in place by August, would hike from $100 to $200 the so-called “view fee” the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner charges to visually inspect every body before cremation. With an estimated 30,000 views a year, the state could make an additional $3 million.

Paul Phaneuf, owner of St. Pierre-Phaneuf Funeral Chapels, tells The Boston Globe a 100% increase is a big expense, especially for low-income families.

State officials argue the fee hasn’t increased in 10 years, and that the extra revenue would boost other initiatives.

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Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com

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