Mar. 04, 2015

HARRISBURG – In an effort to save important taxpayer dollars for school districts, Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Fulton/Franklin) this week introduced House Bill 707, which would exempt schools from Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Act. The law requires that all public bodies pay the prevailing minimum wage, as determined by the secretary of Labor and Industry, when a project exceeds $25,000.

“Two of the most talked about issues in Harrisburg are the funding of education and relief from school property taxes,” Topper said. “This legislation would put more money into the hands of our school districts to be used to improve educational programs, but could also lead to property tax relief for taxpayers.”

According to the Department of Education, Pennsylvania school districts spent more than $7 billion on construction projects between 2000 and 2010. A 2001 study by the Journal of Education Finance found that districts are paying an additional 17 percent in labor costs due to the Commonwealth’s Prevailing Wage Act.

“Even if the cost is only cut by 10 percent, school districts across the state would save $700 million in construction costs over the course of 10 years,” Topper added. “This is a way to improve education without going to taxpayers to foot the bill.”

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Representative Jesse Topper
78th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nick Ruffner