Billion Dollar Blueprint: How we got our numbers - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Billion Dollar Blueprint: How we got our numbers

  • Billion Dollar Blueprint: How we got our numbersMore>>

  • Zurik: Penalties for 'Billion Dollar Blueprint' a slap on the wrist

    Zurik: Penalties for 'Billion Dollar Blueprint' a slap on the wrist

    Monday, November 23 2015 4:33 PM EST2015-11-23 21:33:16 GMT
    Picture this: state lawmakers trying to pass a bill to stop contractors from breaking the law. The picture might make perfect sense: It helps the state earn more money, helps companies following the law compete and helps hard-working Louisianans being mistreated by their boss. But this picture includes a lawmaker who's also in the construction industry.more>>

    Picture this: state lawmakers trying to pass a bill to stop contractors from breaking the law. The picture might make perfect sense: It helps the state earn more money, helps companies following the law compete and helps hard-working Louisianans being mistreated by their boss. But this picture includes a lawmaker who's also in the construction industry.

    more>>
  • Zurik: A white-collar game with blue-collar pieces

    Zurik: A white-collar game with blue-collar pieces

    Thursday, November 19 2015 2:47 PM EST2015-11-19 19:47:01 GMT
    This story can be summed up with this picture:In one corner - a business owner, trying to get one by you by filling out a government document improperly;In another corner - a worker being mistreated;And in the middle - the state of Louisiana, the federal government and you, a taxpayer, all bilked by people trying to skirt the law.more>>

    This story can be summed up with this picture:In one corner - a business owner, trying to get one by you by filling out a government document improperly;In another corner - a worker being mistreated;And in the middle - the state of Louisiana, the federal government and you, a taxpayer, all bilked by people trying to skirt the law.

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  • Billion Dollar Blueprint: About those paycheck deductions...

    Billion Dollar Blueprint: About those paycheck deductions...

    Wednesday, November 18 2015 2:03 PM EST2015-11-18 19:03:35 GMT
    Every payday, you probably notice large amounts of money being sucked out of your paycheck. That's money you've worked for, going straight to the government. Our investigation found the government is not collecting this money for many construction employees.more>>

    Every payday, you probably notice large amounts of money being sucked out of your paycheck. That's money you've worked for, going straight to the government. Our investigation found the government is not collecting this money for many construction employees.

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  • Billion Dollar Blueprint: Employee or independent contractor?

    Billion Dollar Blueprint: Employee or independent contractor?

    Wednesday, November 18 2015 1:58 PM EST2015-11-18 18:58:37 GMT
    This story comes down to this question: What’s the difference between an independent contractor and employee?more>>

    This story comes down to this question: What’s the difference between an independent contractor and employee?

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  • Zurik: A billion dollar blueprint for a taxpayer rip-off

    Zurik: A billion dollar blueprint for a taxpayer rip-off

    Wednesday, November 18 2015 1:33 PM EST2015-11-18 18:33:43 GMT
    Labor misclassification allows businesses to cheat taxpayers in Louisiana out of hundreds of millions of dollars. But the state has been ignoring these costly violations for years.  more>>

    Labor misclassification allows businesses to cheat taxpayers in Louisiana out of hundreds of millions of dollars. But the state has been ignoring these costly violations for years. 

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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

Estimating how much money is being lost by misclassification is not easy. Here’s how we did it.

Our investigation found much of the misclassification in the construction industry comes from the semi-skilled workforce: carpenters, painters, laborers, brick masons, etc.

We went to the Department of Labor website and downloaded their data on those semi-skilled construction jobs. We totaled the amount of jobs and total salaries (estimated by the DOL) for one year.

Our investigation found that 50-60 percent of that workforce appears to be misclassified. The Carpenters Union has found similar evidence.

So we totaled the salaries for the workforce, and took around 55 percent of those salaries as being misreported. We then calculated how much employees (federal, state, Social Security and Medicare) and employers (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment comp) fail to pay by that misclassification. We calculated about a 56 percent misreporting rate of that group (from IRS data) and came up with about $250 million for a total loss to state and federal revenue. That’s money that could be owed to the state and federal government.

We also looked at total construction costs in the state and calculated how much of the misclassification we found on a typical project. Doing the math that way, the cost to taxpayers remained about the same - a quarter-billion dollar sum.

This is just one industry in one part of the workforce. It could be a conservative number because we are not even calculating other industries where misclassification is also prevalent, such as the hospitality and personal care sectors. 

?Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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  • After Further Review: Sloppy wins still count for Saints

    After Further Review: Sloppy wins still count for Saints

    The Saints lead the NFC South via tiebreaker with a 10-4 record. Source: Nola.comThe Saints lead the NFC South via tiebreaker with a 10-4 record. Source: Nola.com

    I usually leave a Saints game with an overall theme or feeling about what I just observed on the field. It typically jumps out at me right away and this column is written. But after Sunday I was left with kind of a blah emotion. Their effort against the Jets was kind of weird. It certainly wasn’t an overly impressive victory to celebrate, but nonetheless, a win in the NFL by double digits is nothing they have to apologize for. Dodging a bullet may be the more accurate descript...

    more>>

    I usually leave a Saints game with an overall theme or feeling about what I just observed on the field. It typically jumps out at me right away and this column is written. But after Sunday I was left with kind of a blah emotion. Their effort against the Jets was kind of weird. It certainly wasn’t an overly impressive victory to celebrate, but nonetheless, a win in the NFL by double digits is nothing they have to apologize for. Dodging a bullet may be the more accurate descript...

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  • Fatal fires spike in Jefferson Parish

    Fatal fires spike in Jefferson Parish

    (Source: FOX 8)(Source: FOX 8)

    Since the end of October, seven people have lost their lives in fatal fires in Jefferson Parish. The most recent one happened Sunday morning, at around 3:20 AM, on the 4300 block of Anthony Street in Metairie.  Jefferson Parish fire officials say firefighters arrived on scene within five minutes, to find the fire fully involved. "A lot of fire, a lot of destruction when they got there," said Jefferson Parish Fire Chief Dave Tibbetts. "A primary search was made. A...

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    Since the end of October, seven people have lost their lives in fatal fires in Jefferson Parish. The most recent one happened Sunday morning, at around 3:20 AM, on the 4300 block of Anthony Street in Metairie.  Jefferson Parish fire officials say firefighters arrived on scene within five minutes, to find the fire fully involved. "A lot of fire, a lot of destruction when they got there," said Jefferson Parish Fire Chief Dave Tibbetts. "A primary search was made. A...

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  • Juan's World: Saints ground Jets, look to Falcons rematch

    Juan's World: Saints ground Jets, look to Falcons rematch

    The Saints meet up with the Falcons on Christmas Eve. Source: Mark LaGrangeThe Saints meet up with the Falcons on Christmas Eve. Source: Mark LaGrange

    Welcome in to Juan's World and as you know, this blog that I do is strictly an opinion piece with a few facts sprinkled in here and there. So, with that in mind, I'm under the opinion that the Saints should've been 'expected' to look past the Jets to next weeks rematch with the Falcons. How could they not look ahead to Atlanta coming to the dome next Sunday. And before you go all 'One Game at a Time' on me, think for a second. You're supposed to beat the Jets, who came in 5-8 and wi...

    more>>

    Welcome in to Juan's World and as you know, this blog that I do is strictly an opinion piece with a few facts sprinkled in here and there. So, with that in mind, I'm under the opinion that the Saints should've been 'expected' to look past the Jets to next weeks rematch with the Falcons. How could they not look ahead to Atlanta coming to the dome next Sunday. And before you go all 'One Game at a Time' on me, think for a second. You're supposed to beat the Jets, who came in 5-8 and wi...

    more>>
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