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ABC-sponsored Study Highlights Impact of 2704 Regs on Family Businesses

In the waning days of the Obama administration, the Treasury Department released proposed regulations under Section 2704 that could have a profound impact on the valuation and therefore taxation of family businesses. The regulations as written would institute back-door “family attribution,” a standard that has been rejected by the courts for decades, and that would jeopardize traditional discounts for minority ownership stakes, inflating tax bases by as much as 40 percent.  As the regulations were not finalized by the time President Obama left office, there is no effective date, but the rule remains pending.

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New Study Finds NY’s Prevailing Wage Increases Cost of Public Construction by Up to 25%

A new report released by the Empire Center for Public Policy on April 24 found that prevailing wage requirements inflate the cost of publicly funded construction projects in New York by between 13 percent and 25 percent. The varying percentages are based on the area or region of the state. Taxpayers can expect to pay billions in extra costs, given the tens of billions the state plans to spend on public projects over the next five to 10 years.  

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Arkansas Repeals State Prevailing Wage Law

On April 7, Arkansas Gov.Asa Hutchinson signed a bill repealing the state’s prevailing wage law. The legislation, SB 601 (Act 1068), was approved by the Arkansas House of Representatives on March 30 by a vote of 70-24; the Arkansas Senate passed the bill on March 21 by a bipartisan vote of 28-5. Arkansas is now the 22nd state without a prevailing wage and the second state to take significant action on the issue this year. Kentucky signed a prevailing wage repeal bill into law in January. In 2015, Nevada made significant reforms to its prevailing wage law, while Indiana and West Virginia joined the list of states without a prevailing wage. 

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Iowa Governor Signs Bill to Strengthen Order on PLA Neutrality

ABC thanked Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad for signing legislation into law to ensure the government cannot mandate PLAs on public construction projects. The bill, SF 438, codifies Gov. Branstad’s previous executive order, which prevented state and local governments procuring state and state-assisted construction projects from encouraging or prohibiting PLAs in contract solicitations, preventing a future governor from mandating PLAs through executive order. It also extends government neutrality toward PLAs to projects funded by local governments. 

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Wisconsin Becomes the 23rd State to Ban PLA Mandates

ABC applauded Gov. Scott Walker for signing Act 3, which will promote fair and open competition on contracts for construction services funded by Wisconsin taxpayers, at event at an ABC member jobsite. The act will ensure that the government cannot mandate controversial project labor agreements (PLAs) on state, state-assisted and local construction projects and that merit shop contractors can compete for projects funded by their own tax dollars on a level playing field.

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Legislative Update
The House and Senate are in session this week. The Secretary of Labor, R. Alexander Acosta will be testifying on Capitol Hill for the Department of Labor budget hearing on Wednesday at 10 a.m.