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The Source: The Employee Vs. The Contractor

McClatchy Newspapers

Construction firms in Texas are dodging taxes, shifting them to employees and shorting the government out of $1.2 billion, according to a new investigative report called Contract to Cheat conducted by the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and McClatchey newspapers.

More than 37% of Texas' 800,000 construction workers are being misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees, says an investigative report.

Violations of labor and tax laws have become widespread for two main reasons...violators win more contracts and enforcement has fallen off.

Despite breaking labor laws, these same construction firms still get federal dollars for low-income housing projects. The map below was generated by the story's author and shows 40 different projects, including those in San Antonio, which used high percentages of contracted workers. 


  • Yamil Berard, reporter at the Ft. Worth Star-Telgram (@yberard).
  • Jim Leonard, president of Greenboro Homes in San Antonio.
  • Mike Cunningham, executive director of Texas Building & Construction Trade Council

*This is the first segment in the September 16 edition of The Source, which airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM. 

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive