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 decision essentially halts the construction of the oil pipeline right above the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and it also comes as protests at the site continued to grow.
- A man who was shot by a Juneau police officer was medevaced to Seattle and is expected to live. The police, the Department of Law and the Alaska Bureau of Investigation are trying to determine why lethal force was used.
- Sitka fishermen volunteer to audit how much fuel they're using in hopes of cutting expenses and boosting profits.
- A 38-year-old Juneau man injured in an officer-involved shooting early Saturday on Ocean View Drive has been medevaced to Seattle.