Counties Push for $250K Prevailing Wage Hike

Pennsylvania counties are calling on the state legislature to raise the prevailing wage threshold for public construction projects to $250,000 from $100,000.

The proposed increase, which has not been adjusted for inflation or industry changes in more than 60 years, would impact lawn maintenance contracts, broadband projects, and the construction of prisons, juvenile detention facilities, and local courthouses, among many other projects.

Prevailing wage laws are designed to ensure that public contractors pay their employees a fair share of the prevailing wage in the area in which the project is being built. The higher cost of construction projects that result from prevailing wage requirements is passed on to taxpayers in the form of higher prices.

Counties and other municipalities have expressed concerns that the prevailing wage requirement is driving up the cost of public construction projects and squeezing discretionary spending for other areas of the state’s budget.

The proposed increase in the prevailing wage threshold is one of several changes that have been proposed to reform Pennsylvania’s public construction system. Other potential reforms include eliminating prevailing wage mandates for state, local, and school districts and raising the threshold at which prevailing wage is applied.

Story source: Commissioner Randy Phiel

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