• Rita McCarthy Guest Post: Prevailing Wage Legislation

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    The Business Council of New York State released a legislative update on June 19 about proposed Prevailing Wage legislation:

    “Imposition of a public works’ prevailing wage mandate on economic development projects is one of the major issues still being negotiated in Albany. While we believe this is bad policy in general, we believe that adding to the cost of investment project that are relying on state and/or local economic development assistance for viability will be especially harmful upstate. After several proposals failed to achieve three-way agreement, the latest approach is to adopt legislation applying to upstate and Long Island, but leaving developers and unions in NY City to reach their own, non-legislative wage agreements.”

    The proposed legislation to extend the prevailing wage requirement to every private development which receives any state/local government money or any state/local government benefit will KILL development in NYS. This is more fleecing of the taxpayer/private owner’s pockets just so politicians can get union votes! Prevailing wage already increases upstate municipal projects by over 20%. This will place that additional burden on private developers as well.

    The “prevailing wage” does not represent our local workers’ salaries and has nothing to do with our local folks being able to make a living wage. If every project that gets a sales tax break on materials or a Payment in Lieu of Tax incentive from local Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs), that makes EVERY development project more expensive. By the way, the reason these sales tax or PILOTs are granted is to create jobs and provide money to our local economies! It’s not like the unions don’t have enough work or union members are starving. Nor is it that all other workers get paid too little to have a comfortable life – except for the excessive tax burden the state already imposes. This new legislation will just increase that burden.
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