The Parnell Administration is trying to explain a proposed 249 percent increase in licensing fees for real estate professionals.
The Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing plans to raise the license fee from $275 to $685.
Legislators have been getting lots of complaints about the increase. In a House Finance Commerce Subcommittee hearing yesterday (Monday), lawmakers pointed to a recent audit of the division that found about $500,000 in expenses incorrectly charged to professions.
The audit also showed income to boards and commissions had not been properly credited. Alaska Association of Realtors past president Jerry Rice said the real estate industry has overpaid more than $3 million in professional services that were not credited in the analysis used to set the new fee.
But Division Director Donald Habeger says the current increase followed a spike in the number of complaints about real estate transactions that left the board with a deficit of a $150,000.
The subcommittee has asked the administration to respond to the audit and questions from the industry.
- The Alaska State Commission for Human Rights is the state’s anti-discrimination agency. In 2011, a legislative audit found that the agency wasn’t doing its job. Five years later, the agency is still trying to move forward.
- "The first time I saw one, I was amazed. I didn’t know what I was looking at," said Bob Stone, a fisheries research biologist at NOAA.
- Juneau Makerspace opens its studio to the public on Monday nights except for holidays. See an upcoming events calendar at JuneauMakerspace.org. Family memberships are $50 a month. Members get 24-hour access.
- A Juneau resident blew a blood alcohol content of three times the legal driving limit early Monday after a single-vehicle incident and was arrested. Tautar Pearce, 37, was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated.