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Repealing Wisconsin’s prevailing wage

Study says state will lose jobs, tax revenues

A recently released study by Colorado State University economist Kevin Duncan and Alex Lantsberg of Smart Cities Prevail, showed that the partial repeal of Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law will cost our state jobs and tax revenues.

The study found that Wisconsin could lose approximately 9,000 jobs, $1.2 billion in economic output and $77 million in tax revenue as a result of the repeal. It will export an estimated $500 million in construction investments out of our state.

According to the study, “Lower wage standards will deprive Wisconsin of favorable industry responses from prevailing wage standards. In Wisconsin’s case, this includes a 7 percent increase in worksite productivity and a 2 percent reduction in materials and fuel usage rates that come from employing higher skilled, local workers.”

Any savings that might be gained by lowering the prevailing wage when decreased productivity, decreased tax revenues and job losses are factored into the equation.

“Over a 10-year period this repeal will not save money, but instead it will reduce real income to Wisconsin families by $ 5.1 billion, shrink Wisconsin’s economy by $12 billion, and it will also degrade the quality of construction on highways, schools, hospitals and other public projects,” Duncan said. ‘With these facts before us it is very clear, the repealing of the prevailing wage is nothing more than very bad policy.”

Once again, another attack directed against our citizens who work for a living that will likely be used as a boasting point in Gov. Scott Walker’s run for president.

At the federal level, it is worth noting that Wisconsin’s Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, whose family owns a construction company, has voted in favor of the prevailing wage.

George Lorenz

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