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November 22, 2017

Employees of TIF projects in Portland to receive prevailing wage

The Portland City Council voted to require contractors working on Tax Increment Financing-funded projects in the city to pay their employees a prevailing wage.

"We will be the first community in the state to put this in their TIF rules," Mayor Ethan Strimling told the Portland Press Herald.

Prevailing wages are set on an annual basis by the Maine Department of Labor on a county-by-county basis for state construction projects exceeding $50,000.

However, the city council shot down another provision requiring contractors on TIF projects to participate in an apprenticeship program registered by the state or federal government, a move supported by union workers. Instead, the council will explore offering grants for a broader job-training program that would help other industries as well, the newspaper reported.

Also removed was a requirement that at least 25% of work hours be performed by Portland residents, minorities, women or veterans.

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