FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Not The Tax That Is the Problem, It Is The Costs
Legislature should examine cost of infrastructure
improvements, including prevailing wage, before raising taxes
October 6, 2016
Mount Laurel, NJ - “The New
Jersey Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors is pleased that the
legislature wants to invest in our aging infrastructure. These are public roads
and buildings and as such they the invest needs to come from public funds.
However, the proposed passage
of a regressive $.23 increase in the gas tax is emblematic of all that is wrong
with Trenton funding formulas.
Mismanagement and raiding of funds leads to crisis situations, and the
burden routinely gets dumped back onto the middle class in the form of tax
increases. If New Jersey could find a way to not have the most expensive per
lane cost of road construction for example, it would be a good start. Future
infrastructure work must be built without using an overly expensive prevailing
wage schedule and certainly without discriminatory Project Labor Agreements
PLA’s are discriminatory
agreements that typically propose “cost savings” and mandate that workers come
from union hall. As you can imagine, with this caveat, merit shop, or non-union
contractors, whose workers make up 75% of the construction workforce, won’t bid
jobs with PLA’s. Regrettably, PLA’s drive up the cost of construction by
restricting efficiencies and stifling competition. The last study conducted in
New Jersey by the Department of Labor found that projects with a Project Labor
Agreement attached increased costs by 30.5% compared to non-PLA projects.
It’s long overdue that our
Legislature become better stewards of the taxpayer investment. Instead of
adding hundreds of dollars in taxes to each middle class resident, let’s try
reducing cost and more efficiently managing tax payer dollars.”
Builders and Contractors, New Jersey Chapter’s mission is to be the voice of
the Merit Shop and Free Enterprise in New Jersey’s construction industry. ABC
has over 21,000 members nationally.