Okaloosa County Contractor Woes

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Mary-Ann Moore has run a remodeling business for three years in the Okaloosa County area. Last month, she received a citation from a county code enforcement officer for not having the right licenses.

"It's a 700 dollar citation claiming that I was doing work, unlicensed work. Which I explained to him when he gave me the citation that I wasn't" said business owner Mary Ann Moore.

We investigated her claim and learned the documents Moore holds are not licenses - but business tax receipts which allow her to operate under certain restrictions.

"The key two things that are missing are number one a permit and secondly a license. They have business tax receipts which are not licenses they're only a tax" said Okaloosa County Code Enforcement Supervisor Lisa Payton.

"When you pay your business tax receipt to become a handyman that license is actually self-explanatory. If you have a question our offices are always able to help people say yes you can or can't do so when in doubt simply ask" said Okaloosa County Growth Management Director Elliot Kampert.

While Moore's mistake can be corrected - county officials want consumers to know there are some contractors who will try to operate without the proper credentials.

"We want legally licensed contractors in Okaloosa County so all they would have to do is contact our license specialist and get an exam packet" said Payton.

They say it’s important for consumers to do their research to know what licenses are required before hiring a contractor.

The growth management and the building industry association says while Moore has been completely cooperative they're trying to crack down on unlicensed contractors to prevent scams.