Special Interests Inhibiting Joplin’s Recovery?
Remember the May 22 tornado that ripped through Joplin? There were 161 people killed and more than 7,000 residences destroyed. The Associated Press has reported a 17-fold increase in building permits for the city of Joplin since the tornado:
The city has issued an average of $35.4 million in permits per month since the tornado. Before the tornado, the city averaged just over $2.1 million a month in building permits.
Despite this evidence of a robust private market, the Missouri Housing Development Commission has:
. . . committed about $100 million in tax credits and loans over the coming decade to spark the construction of low-to-moderate income rental units and single-family, owner-occupied homes in the Joplin area.
[A] Sept. 30 revision of the federal wage rules significantly increased those amounts. For example, the federal prevailing wage for a carpenter in the Joplin area rose from $7.98 an hour to $21.47 an hour plus $12.65 in benefits. The federal prevailing wage for a roofer in the Joplin area rose from $7.25 an hour, which matches the general federal minimum wage, to $21.30 an hour plus $8.08 in benefits.