In March, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett visited the IKORCC to discuss the growing issue of tax fraud and the effects it has on responsible contractors, the city, and taxpayers.
Tax fraud occurs when companies misclassify workers who should be employees in order to avoid paying their fair share of unemployment insurance and federal, state and local taxes. Companies that commit tax fraud are often able to give lower bids on projects since they aren’t paying their share of taxes – a practice which makes it difficult for responsible contractors to compete fairly.
“Everybody ought to have the right to compete fairly,” Mayor Hogsett said while addressing contractors. “I want to be clear – what the city seeks to do is not to pick winners and losers. Our job is to make sure everyone is operating on a level playing field,” Hogsett added.
Mayor Hogsett also acknowledged that the IKORCC has been at the forefront of the battle against tax fraud. “The carpenters have really taken a leadership role in this regard,” he said.
In response to the growing tax fraud problem in the construction industry, Mayor Hogsett says he put together a working group to explore the ordinances in place within the city and the means of enforcing these policies. “The ordinance is a bit vague in the enforcement area,” he said, adding that he hopes to have an enforcement officer in place in the future to cut down on tax fraud.
The IKORCC has seen an increase in the prevalence of tax fraud in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio and hopes to work with Mayor Hogsett and the working group to help curtail the issue.