Tax Fraud Days of Action 2022: Kentucky

Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Representatives spoke with state and local officials on April 13th and 14th to learn more and speak out about construction industry tax fraud in Kentucky. Events were held by IKORCC across the three states and sponsored by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters across the United States and Canada.

More than 50 Senate and House Representatives stopped by our setup in the capitol building in Frankfort on April 13th. The statehouse was in session and full which opened the door for IKORCC to make new introductions with lawmakers who were unaware of construction industry tax fraud were made. All 200 meals and toolboxes were handed out.

On April 14th, over 25 officials including area mayors, State Representatives, judges, code enforcement officers, tax clerks, and local business owners attended a lunch and learn about tax fraud.

Leer más

Tax Fraud Days of Action 2022: Ohio

In four events across the state, regional legislators visited the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Training Centers on April 12th and 13th to learn more and speak out about construction industry tax fraud. Events were held by IKORCC across the three states and sponsored by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters across the United States and Canada.

On April 12th, the IKORCC held events in Rossford and Monroe.  On April 13th, events took place in Richfield and Columbus.  All four events brought in legislators from both sides of the aisle some with little knowledge of the dangerous practice in the construction industry. Leer más

Political Update

Indiana

2021 has been another successful year for Indiana politics. The IKORCC managed to harvest a great relationship with the Indiana Association of Public-School Superintendents (IAPSS) and received an invitation to go on tour with them for all eight of their district meetings. During the tour, we were introduced to public school superintendents in all 92 counties. In addition, we were given the opportunity to talk about our Door Safety Inspection (DSI) Program and Career Connections.

One of our many focuses was on getting more “Responsible Bidder Language” added into front end bid specs with school corporations. During the 2021 year, we were able to obtain an additional two agreements with the Metropolitan School District of Boone Township and Concord Community Schools.

Other events worth mentioning that took place during the 2021 year are several successful meetings with political figures regarding laws being introduced to support ICRA training requirements being put in place if any work is being done in occupied health care facilities or schools that may have students present. Also, the City of Indianapolis has promised to make tax fraud and worker misclassification its number one priority for 2022. This commitment came directly from Mayor Joe Hogsett during a public speech that he gave to the city.

During the Delegates conference, Senator Fady Quadra (left) spoke to the membership and explained his level of respect for the Carpenters Union and other organized labor affiliates. He affirmed that he would carry the Carpenters ICRA legislation in 2022.

Due to line redistricting, a Senate seat for District 46 has come up for grabs. We have successfully sourced a candidate that is a card-carrying member of AFSCME whom we helped get elected to the Indianapolis City County Council, to go after this open seat. The candidate has confirmed they will make it known that this seat will be a union held seat if elected. This seat will be won during the primaries due to it being a largely held partisan district.

 

Kentucky

2021 was a busy political year in Kentucky.  Even with the COVID-19 restrictions we’ve been able to build great relationships with local lawmakers and state legislators.  Our goals in Kentucky are to address tax fraud and ensure we are in the best position to secure our work with the influx of new solar projects coming to the area.

With solar, it is our hope to introduce language similar to legislation that exists in other states that would protect our work and put our contractor base in the best position possible to secure solar work.  Our solar committee, headed up Jeremy Welch and Wallace Turner, has done a tremendous job working with developers and owners to provide information to the political team. That info is vital in working with our lawmakers to sell our training and the importance of the upcoming work.

Tax fraud is a major problem in Kentucky.  1099 worker misclassification and the cash under the table business model used by non-signatory contractors has put our contractor base at huge disadvantage.  Working with our Director of Organizing Kenneth Lyons and our political team, we’ve been taking local and state legislators to job site visits to show them the impact and loss of tax revenue that is currently going on.

Now that the November local elections are over, we will actively continue to educate local elected officials about our issues.  We use our training facilities to conduct tours and plan to ramp up job site visits.  Do not discount the importance you have in actively participating to successfully reach our goals.

If you are not registered to vote please do so.  You can register online at vrsws.sos.ky.gov.  Moving into 2022 there will be very important races all across Kentucky.

 

Ohio

2021 was a challenge, politically.  Our approach in building relationships with lawmakers became more difficult as a result of the COVID-19 mandates throughout Ohio. Thankfully, we found creative ways to continue building relationships with our local and state lawmakers.  We use our four self-funded Ohio training centers as our main selling point with politicians.  We continue to take elected officials out for jobsite visits to showcase what we do and also highlight the bad jobsites where tax fraud is rampant due to the lack of legislation in Ohio.

As a result, we continue to build support from both sides of the aisle – Democrat and Republican.  We have been successful in protecting our core issues such as Prevailing Wage, Right to Work, and Unemployment Compensation.  We are now using our relationships to introduce language to address tax fraud.  Our tax fraud bill will create a Tax Fraud Commission to study the impact that paying cash under the table and worker misclassification abuse is having, not only to us but every taxpayer within Ohio.  We are aggressively lobbying on current issues to protect our work within all four refineries in the state.

Our motto has always been to Educate, Agitate, and Organize.  These very same principles are used when working with any elected lawmaker.  Our Ohio political team covers all corners of the state and we will keep every UBC member informed of legislation that may affect us.

With the 2022 election cycle upcoming we will be very busy working for current lawmakers we support and going through a vetting process for any open seats to ensure that the right lawmakers are elected.  If you are not already registered to vote, please do so.

You can register online at ohiosos.gov.  Remember that when a recommendation is made to support a candidate they are soundly in support of protecting your work, your career, and your ability to provide for your family.

Tax Fraud Days of Action 2021

The Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters joined UBC members across the United States and Canada to raise awareness for construction industry tax fraud. Check out highlights from IKORCC Tax Fraud Days of Action events in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

Indiana Tax Fraud Day of Action Event

The Tax Fraud Day of Action event in Indianapolis was a tremendous success. Business representatives and members of the IKORCC Executive Board spent a few hours educating lawmakers on tax fraud, with a special emphasis on solutions to tax fraud. Of the 150 elected officials invited, 62 lawmakers, both republican and democrat, visited the event and learned more about construction industry tax fraud. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett also attended the event.

The Indiana event was held at the Indiana State House atrium. To drive attendance to the event, IKORCC reps handed out tax fraud toolbox/lunchboxes packed with concrete solutions to fight tax fraud. The theme of the giveaway was, “You already have all the tools you need to fight tax fraud”. The toolboxes were a big driver to our event.

The solutions inside included: enforcing existing laws, creating a tax fraud task force, sharing information amongst government agencies and responsible bidder ordinances or RBOs.

In addition to the in-person event, the IKORCC created a new website, endtaxfraud.com. The website focuses on the actual solutions to tax fraud and what lawmakers and the public can do to help.

 

Kentucky Tax Fraud Day of Action Events

We held a two day Tax Fraud Awareness event in Louisville, Kentucky this year. On the first day, we visited a dorm under construction at the University of Louisville, with predominantly union subcontractors. We educated members of all crafts about Tax Fraud and how important it is to get involved politically with elected officials to help eliminate this illegal business model. It was an extremely successful event. We also educated and built relationships with company management teams.

On the second day, we took our messaging to a non-union led job site in Louisville. We used this as an opportunity to educate owners, workers and management teams while also gathering info on Labor Brokers, potential future members, and accurate counts of employees being paid cash or with a 1099. This gave us a new angle on how to fight tax fraud.

Ohio Tax Fraud Day of Action Event

Tax Fraud Days of Action in Columbus was a successful day of educating legislators and the public on why tax fraud is a danger to everyone. Legislators from both sides of the aisle and even some who we didn’t have a previous relationship with us, showed up to learn more about tax fraud. Legislators loved the tax fraud lunchboxes and were excited to talk about upcoming projects in their areas and what our organization has going on.

All IKORCC Representatives onsite had legislators from their area represented in the turnout.

Check out a video interview with Democrat House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes about tax fraud.

Here is another video with Republican House Representative Jay Edwards

Former Industrial Representative and UBC instructor Steve Griffith also stopped by and gave us an interview.

Prevailing Wage Protects Kentucky’s Taxpayers

Construction workers in Kentucky contribute $20 million to state and local taxes. This allows policy makers to balance budgets and fund infrastructure and public safety without raising taxes on everyone else.

However, workers NOT paid prevailing wage are eligible for up to $8,000 in public assistance, which costs taxpayers for additional reliance on cash assistance, food stamps and unpaid visits to the emergency room. Taxpayers don’t save without prevailing wage, they SUBSIDIZE low-wage jobs.

Prevailing wage is the wage paid to skilled construction workers on publicly funded projects estimated to cost more than $250,000. The wages are set by Kentucky’s Labor Cabinet based on what construction workers in the area make on private sector projects. This forces big government to abide by local private sector economies.

[i]  Kentucky’s Prevailing Wage Law, an Economic Impact Analysis, Peter Philips, Ph.D., 2014.
[ii]  Economic Policy Brief, Working Partnerships USA, 2011.

Prevailing Wage Drives Kentucky’s Economic Development

Every dollar spent on a prevailing wage project generates $1.50 in economic activity – that’s money spent at local businesses such as restaurants, shops and grocery stores – spurring additional job creation that keeps local businesses and economies strong.

In fact, the economic activity generated by prevailing wage projects supports 2,643 non-construction jobs in Kentucky!

Prevailing wage is the wage paid to skilled construction workers on publicly funded projects estimated to cost more than $250,000. The wages are set by Kentucky’s Labor Cabinet based on what construction workers in the area make on private sector projects. This forces big government to abide by local private sector economies.