New York State is home to some of the highest construction costs in the country. The state’s prevailing wage and scaffold laws are two reasons why. That is why the Buffalo Niagara Partnership calls for Scaffold Law reform and opposition to the expansion of prevailing wage in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda.
Benjamin Franklin once said that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Let’s avoid a conversation about death and instead concentrate of the (slightly) less gruesome of certain things: taxes.
As part of our Government Affairs programming, we kicked-off our first of two Capital Conversation events for 2017 with a look at New York’s prevailing wage mandate and its impact on taxpayers and economic development. E.J. McMahon, founder and research director of the Empire Center came to Buffalo to detail his new report: Prevailing Waste: New York’s Costly Public Works Pay Mandate. Our event coincides with an effort underway in Albany to expand the prevailing wage mandate by attaching it some private projects.
A new report by the Empire Center confirms what many have believed for years – New York State’s prevailing wage law drives up construction costs as much as 25 percent, squandering precious tax dollars in the process.
Higher wages and fewer jobs- that’s the undeniable takeaway from a recent study looking at the economic impact of a $15 an hour minimum wage in New York State. The study was commission by the Empire Center and conducted by two nationally recognized economists who concluded that at least 200,000 jobs would be lost throughout New York State if the minimum wage was raised to $15 an hour. More than 15,000 of those jobs would come from the Buffalo Niagara job market.