BUFFALO, N.Y. — The advocacy coalition representing Upstate New York businesses has significant concerns about the governor's call to expand prevailing wages rules.
Essentially prevailing wages are a pre-set wage the state requires companies to pay employees. It varies by job and is typically based on collective bargaining done by unions in various fields.
Right now, prevailing wages just applies to public works projects but the governor wants it to apply to any project that receives public assistance or incentives. We don't know all the details but that could mean projects big and small, with incentives from local Industrial Development Agencies, the state or even the federal government.
Unshackle Upstate called it a death sentence for development.
"We've seen positive things in cities like Buffalo like you've got going on at Canalside where you've got some public private partnerships. We don't want to see that end. We want to see construction here in Upstate New York. That's good for the trade unions. Having projects being built is good for labor and I fully believe by expanding this prevailing wage, you're just going to see no construction," Executive Director Michael Kracker said.
Unshackle is pleased the governor is calling to make the property tax cap permanent, which it says has saved taxpayers billions since 2011. The coalition also gave the governor credit for continuing a self-imposed two percent cap on government spending.