FLORIDA PUBIC EMPLOYEES
McClatchy Newspapers investigation found misclassification in Florida’s construction industry “costs taxpayers $400 million per year in lost state and federal tax revenue.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, of the $10 million worth of federal funding the US Department of Labor divided among 23 states to fight the problem of worker misclassification, Florida received nothing – not a dime!
Under Rick Scott’s administration: Florida failed to apply, once again, for federal funding that is costing taxpayers – like you and me – $400 million a year. This in spite of the year long joint investigation by the Miami Herald and McClatchy Newspapers that found misclassification in Florida costing the loss of state and federal tax revenue.
From McClatchy Newspapers’ article:
WASHINGTON — Construction companies broke Florida law and cheated on their taxes in order to gobble up a slice of the federal stimulus money that kept the building industry afloat during the recession.
And around the nation — in plain sight of regulators — thousands of companies avoided state and federal taxes, exploited vulnerable workers, and undercut law-abiding competitors, a Miami Herald and McClatchy Newspapers investigation has found.
A review of public records in Florida and 27 other states revealed that companies commonly violated the law by treating workers as independent contractors instead of employees, allowing the companies to evade taxes. The scheme persists in federal contracting even as government officials acknowledge the exploitation of hourly wage workers and steep losses to the U.S. treasury.
In Florida, a McClatchy analysis shows nearly $400 million a year in lost tax revenue from the construction industry alone. In North Carolina, nearly $500 million a year. And in Texas, a staggering $1.2 billion.
As a result, cheaters win, the U.S. treasury goes wanting and workers pay the price.
To understand the national scope and impact of the scheme, reporters spent a year reviewing payroll records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and state public records laws, for federal housing projects in 28 states. Most of the projects were paid for in part with stimulus money.
Reporters from eight McClatchy newspapers, including the Miami Herald, and McClatchy’s Washington bureau, along with ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news organization in New York, visited work sites, spoke with hundreds of workers and dozens of company owners, and interviewed economists, union leaders, policymakers and some of the highest-placed government overseers in Washington, D.C.
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