AB190 Testimony (Prevailing Wage)

Testimony in Opposition re: Assembly Bill 190 – Assembly Government Affairs Committee

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

8:30 am

My name is Daniel Honchariw. I represent the Nevada Policy Research Institute as its senior policy analyst and registered lobbyist.

We oppose AB190 because it will cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, according to the fiscal notes submitted by government agencies, just so union workers on public construction projects can be paid wages that are, on average, 62 percent above the market rate.

The below chart compares the 2017 prevailing wage rates for 14 job categories in Clark County, which represented over half of all construction employment that year, against the average wage earned for all workers in that same profession.

Because the prevailing wage rate also includes the cost of benefits, we increased the average market wage by 50 percent to account for the cost of benefits in the private sector. This is an extremely conservative assumption, meaning that the actual disparity is likely even greater than what is reported here.

The Clark County prevailing wage ranged from 14 percent above the market wage for roofers, to a staggering 109 percent above the market wage for glaziers, with the average prevailing wage rate coming in at 62 percent above the market wage:

Table 1: Average wage and prevailing wage in Clark County, Nevada (2017)

AB190 will increase the tax burden on ordinary Nevadans by requiring governments to pay wildly inflated labor rates on all of their construction projects. This committee should oppose AB190 and the unwarranted giveaway of taxpayer money that it represents. 
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Nevada Labor Commissioner, 2017 data for Clark County, NV.