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 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is in full swing. In less than a week, the fleet has caught over half of its quota. And while most crew members work on the water, spotter pilots fish for herring from the sky.
- A lot of eyes were on the U.S. House today, but, as Republican factions shuttled to the White House to negotiate, it was a day of waiting for most.
- Gov. Walker’s legislation creates a new definition for independent contractors that would determine whether employers have to pay to insure against on-the-job injuries.
- Gone are the days of throwing explosives from the air. AELP's avalanche crews trigger slides using a Daisybell, dangling about 150 feet from a helicopter. This is a cheaper -- and safer -- solution.