New research from the nonprofit, nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) shows that Wisconsin's "prevailing wage" penalizes the poorest rural communities, stifles competition, and costs taxpayers 45% more. The WISTAX research, which was commissioned by ABC-WI, shows that when compared to the federal government's method, Wisconsin's methodology is flawed, resulting in extra building costs in 2014 of as much as $299.5 million.
Other findings from the study:
  • Wisconsin only receives 10% of survey responses back from those Wisconsin businesses who help determine the prevailing wage (Federal percentage is 76%).
  • Of those responses, 87% are covered by collective bargaining even though only 25% of the construction industry statewide is unionized.
  • The current reporting system often results in statewide or regional figures to set a wage rate that doesn't reflect a county's labor market.
  • Wisconsin prevailing wage overall compensation packages are 44% higher than Bureau of Labor Statistics package rates.
Watch the press conference