Contractor licensing statutes unfair

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, April 25, 2005

The Alaska State Homebuilders Association proudly admits that the changes they initiated in the contractor licensing statutes are to reduce competition in the industry and to require the consumer to use one of their members to build or remodel a home. They are less forthright in admitting that these changes can increase the homeowner's cost by as much as 40 percent per project.

Their current bill, HR-81, puts onerous restrictions on owner-builders, and does away with "due process of law" in enforcement of the statutes.

What they have done can be likened to the auto dealerships restricting the independent mechanic to either: a) focus on a specialty; where he can work on, say, the muffler or transmission, but nothing else; or, b) limit his work to no more than $100 per vehicle. All other work would have to be performed in the dealerships' shops at the dealerships' rates. Under an accusation of violating the law the mechanic would have to shut down his business and pay a fine. He would not be able to legally work as an independent until an appeal was successful.

These changes in the contractor licensing statues constitutes "bad law" and hurts the consumer; it is going to hurt your pocketbook. Contact the Legislative Information Office. Tell them that you want to send a POM to all the state senators. Tell them that the changes enacted last year to the contractors licensing statues should be rescinded, and that you want the contractor licensing exclusion raised to $15,000 (from the current $2,500 value). This is a positive step in keeping competition in the market place and the costs of residential construction/repair reasonable.

Jim Callahan

Fairbanks



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