Drop in licenses sparks concern


Oregon contractors aren’t renewing their licenses as often, creating worry that unlicensed work will rise.

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Oregon contractors aren’t renewing their licenses as often, creating worry that unlicensed work will rise.

According to the state construction board, general contractor license renewals have dropped by almost 14 percent between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, a decline of 699 license renewals.

Last week, the CCB for the first time released statistics on the amount of civil fines it issued to contractors working without a license. Between April and June of this year, the board fined 220 construction businesses or individuals a total of $352,200 for working, or offering to work, without a license.

Rob Yorke, a CCB board member, pointed to a familiar culprit.

“We think there is an increase (in contractors working without a license during the recession),” Yorke said. “There are a lot of Craigslist listings and informal work going on. Half of the people on Craigslist aren’t licensed, and some of them even admit it.”

In the past two years, the CCB has hired about a dozen additional inspectors, and they are targeting Craigslist for phony contractors, Yorke said.

Read more in the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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