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Letter: Wage bill would give 'biggest bang' for tax dollars

Published: March 12, 2017 12:00 AM

As an Americans for Prosperity - Ohio activist, I have devoted my spare time over the past few years to educating Ohioans about a little known issue called prevailing wage.

For those who do not know, prevailing wage laws require government agencies to pay workers according to predetermined wage scales for construction projects. In theory, prevailing wages are supposed to be the market rate, but in reality they are set according to inflated pay scales. Our state's prevailing wage mandate hurts our local governments' ability to decide how our local tax dollars are spent and it's costing us.

In 1997, Ohio lawmakers exempted schools from prevailing wage laws. This exemption saved taxpayers nearly 10 million dollars while reducing the cost of school construction projects by 10.7 percent. The quality of these projects did not suffer and millions of dollars were saved by local school districts.

With much excitement, I learned that State Sen. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) recently introduced SB 72, legislation that would allow local governments to use competitive market wages for local construction projects. This is great news because cuts to local government funds continue and if passed, the bill will save many Ohio communities millions of dollars a year.

I support Sen. Huffman's bill because it would give Ohioans the biggest bang for their taxpayer buck while keeping government close to home.

Alex D Bryan, Stow


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