In the wake of nearly 30,000 consumer complaints last year against contractors--about one-fourth against the non-licensed variety--the Contractors State License Board is launching a poster campaign to warn consumers of the dangers of dealing with non-licensed contractors.
Four posters have been prepared for the campaign, which supplements the board's current activities of free seminars and cooperation with local, state and federal governmental agencies in attempting to eliminate consumer fraud in home improvement projects. State law requires a licensed contractor for work costing $200 or more.
The license board has clout with the nearly 196,000 licensed contractors in California, up to and including the power of license revocation. On the other hand, in a consumer complaint against an unlicensed contractor, the board cannot order the contractor to correct the work.
Too, current estimates indicate that California is losing more than $2 billion a year in income taxes alone from non-licensed contractors, a board spokeswoman said. The low bid that a non-licensed contractor submits is illusory since the taxpayers of the state end up paying for the benefits and costs that the non-licensed contractors don't, she said.