…or are they?
We all love and appreciate the natural beauty of West Virginia – especially our majestic mountains. We call ourselves the Mountain State. We sing about our West Virginia Hills and our Mountain Mama. We proclaim that Mountaineers Are Always Free.
On the flip side, our mountains often present us with challenges. Sometimes getting from here to there can be difficult – especially in bad weather. We may find ourselves isolated from the rest of the world in small mountain communities that because of their very location are struggling economically.
Competition from Out-of-State Companies
But we’re resilient. We’re used to the struggle, and, in of spite the mountains of obstacles that have been placed in our path–whether geographic or economic–we have always found a way to prevail. Right now, however, our state’s industries are fighting an uphill battle against unfair competition from out-of-state companies, because of an obstacle placed in their way by our very own lawmakers.
What if I told you that right now West Virginians could be losing millions of dollars in personal income and tax revenue because of an ill-advised decision made by the Repealers in our legislature. A decision that eliminated our Prevailing Wage Law? You’d most likely say that can’t possibly be right. Right?
Well, a recent study estimated that our state is losing between $55 to $84 million a year to out-of-state companies due to the repeal of our Prevailing Wage Law (insert link to study). But it gets worse from there. What if I told you that because our Prevailing Wage law was repealed, you and I are shouldering a far larger tax burden than we should. You’d be outraged. As well you should. The shortfall caused by these losses must be made up by you and other hard-working taxpayers!
The Losses Mount for West Virginia
Since the repeal happened almost four years ago in 2016, it’s easy to see that at $55 to $84 million a year, we’ve collectively lost $220 to $336 million so far. That may be pocket change to the “Repealers” in our legislature, but it’s real money out of our pockets. Just imagine how many roads we could have paved; how many schools we could have built; and how much of our hard-earned tax dollars we could have saved if our leaders had studied this issue before making their disastrous decision.
For four years West Virginia industry has watched local jobs steadily go to fly-by-night, out-of-state companies who import workers from other states and even other countries. Along with the lost jobs, we’re continuing to lose tax revenue. Meanwhile, low-wage, unskilled workers are now building our schools, paving our roads and constructing our bridges. In some documented cases, the work they have done has had to be redone, meaning overruns that cost us taxpayers double!
My grandfather used to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but the Repealers in our Legislature struck down our Prevailing Wage Law with little or no study. This was an experiment that we all knew would fail. But, the Repealers promised tax savings. Unfortunately, those savings never materialized.
Speak Up to Restore Prevailing Wage Law!
It is time for us to correct this mistake and turn this bus around. We can be among those successful states that retain their best and brightest minds; and one that provides a standard of living worthy of its hard-working citizens. But we must speak up.
Mountaineers like us will never be free until we stand up and claim what’s ours. You can make a difference. You can help restore our Prevailing Wage Law and move West Virginia forward by signing our petition. Please get on board and help us to restore prevailing wage to Restore West Virginia!