December 9, 2003 - Issue: Vol. 149, No. 176 — Daily Edition108th Congress (2003 - 2004) - 1st Session
INTRODUCTION OF THE FAIRNESS TO LOCAL CONTRACTORS ACT
(Extensions of Remarks - December 09, 2003)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E2530] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] INTRODUCTION OF THE FAIRNESS TO LOCAL CONTRACTORS ACT ______ HON. ED CASE of hawaii in the house of representatives Monday, December 8, 2003 Mr. CASE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce legislation to ensure that out-of-state Federal contractors doing business in the various States fully comply with local State laws. For years, my home State of Hawaii has struggled to force out-of- state Federal contractors to pay local taxes. This issue became so serious in the mid-1990s that the State of Hawaii sued out-of-state Federal contractors for failing to pay State taxes, penalties, and interest ranging from $191,000 to $324,000. Noncompliance with State laws has become such an acute problem that the Hawaii Department of Taxation has joined with other State departments and members of the Hawai `i congressional delegation to devise ways to make Federal contractors comply with State tax laws. The bill I introduce today will solve this problem by requiring the Federal government to withhold from any Federal contractor doing business in any State the amount necessary to pay the State tax liability due under its contract, with the amount withheld paid directly to the State where the work is performed. The bill would also direct the Federal government to require a contractor to be licensed in the State in which a construction contract is to be performed. Besides assuring prompt and full payment of State taxes, these requirements will also help ensure that out-of-state contractors follow the same set of rules and compete on equal footing for Federal contracts with local contractors. Ignoring State laws gives out-of- state contractors an unfair and illegal advantage over local contractors, who routinely face much stricter scrutiny to comply with their local laws and much stricter penalties for failing to do so. This bill is modeled after legislation introduced by my predecessor, the late Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink, who understood that out-of-state contractors must fulfill their legal responsibilities wherever they conduct their business. By reintroducing an expanded and refined version of her earlier bill, I will continue her fight to help State governments police unethical contractors. I urge my colleagues to support this bill. ____________________