If this were true wouldn't they be run out on their own for doing shoddy work? That just doesn't sound right to me? If Texas really demanded quality they would hire quality, wouldn't they?
Depends on the GC. Consultants, strongly dislike these guys coming in from out of State, because they do so behind the consultant's back, in a way. Each consultant has their list of subs they work well with. Those subs are placed on the "Approved Bidder's List" in the specs. That doesn't mean the GC is limited to using those subs, but that those subs are highly recommended, because they do a good job. These guys that come in from out of state, lowball the shit out of it by switching to lesser quality equipment, with the approval of the GC. That undermines the consultant, the owner, and everyone else involved in the project. Subs here won't do that, because they have a reputation to maintain, with their GCs, consultants, etc. If these local guys ran around doing this, they'd run themselves out of town. When they go direct to the GC for approval on this stuff (I'll add the GC isn't even qualified to make these decisions), it screws everything up. But the out of state dealer doesn't care, because they have nothing to do with local consultants, whereas local subs directly answer to these guys, and the consultant's opinion of them holds a lot of water when it's time to award the bid. A lot of the times, I can tell an Owner "I told you this was going to happen", but it's always too little too late.
One of your assumptions seems off. Everybody has to follow the same rules/codes ect right?
First, these aren't assumptions. This is the cannibalizing I've seen in this industry over the last 8+ years. To the second part of that, in a sense, yes, but in a sense, no. Yes, everyone has to follow the same code. Code is dictated by municipality. That said, there is no code when it comes to stainless worktables, etc. Where a consultant will design and specify 16 gauge work tops, marine edges, etc, an out of state consultant will come in and provide 20 gauge work tops (shit quality), no marine edge, etc. This all plays big factors in price. The fact that they don't give a shit about their relationship with the consultant, is what allows them to do it. Local dealers don't have the balls to piss a consultant off like that, because these consultants are in a way, their livelihood.
Sounds to me like the bottom line is somebody else is doing the job cheaper and Texas contractors don't like it.
That's not really the case. Yes, they are doing the job cheaper, because they are providing lesser quality equipment. This results in pissed off end users that have to buy new tables in a year, that weren't budgeted for, because their flimsy ass worktable built of aluminum foil, fell the fuck apart. Yes, their labor is cheaper, which also plays a role, but nothing that can't be overcome by local guys. The whole problem is the lesser quality equipment. They just come in and pitch the GC on their price, and the GC sees a way to make their profit margin go up by hiring the out of state guy. They don't know enough about this trade, to know what works, what won't, where it's feasible to cut costs, and where it isn't. In the end, they get a shitty product that has their name on it too, but all that matters to them is their profit margin. Especially with as many redo's and fuck ups as there are in construction. any penny they can save, they will.
I think I might be ok with your Situation A worked where the state taxes the foreign bid at a reciprocal rate to the bidder's home state. You charge our guys we charge your guys. That could encourage, but not legislate (which I think is important), people going local by taking away the advantage of hiring a cheaper foreign crew, but like I said before, I don't think you logic adds up.
I should have made it more clear. I'd be perfectly content with a reciprocity agreement. You tax TX businesses to do business in your state, we do the same for your businesses doing business in TX. Oklahoma doesn't have anything like this, so some of our subs in TX go up there for work when it hits a slow period here. But OK subs also come to TX for business, when it's there. There is no disadvantage for either side there though.
Take a current public bid that is going on right now for instance. Dallas ISD has a billion plus bid bond package out right now. They are remodeling some 230 schools. Every fucking dealer in the country is bidding on this shit, because it's a lot of money, and people in the rest of the area are struggling like a mother fucker. Whereas TX, has a strong economy, and hasn't even really slowed down construction of schools, prisons, etc (public money bids). I know these guys are just trying to make it, I just think a level playing field helps all involved. I mean, I REALLY fail to see a downside here. I'm not saying one doesn't exist and that my idea is perfect. I'm very open to all feedback. I just don't see how this is going to hurt us. Our TX subs are getting screwed as it is with certain surrounding states, much less if they were to go try and do a job in NY, CO, CA, etc. I just think leveling the field is going to provide a little much needed relief, and help further reinforce TX's already strong economy.