If you’re a contractor, you’re going to encounter the phrase “Miller Act” at some point in time. Experienced construction companies are quite familiar with what this entails, while newer small- to medium-sized companies may be confused at the term and curious as to what they need to do.
The first thing to understand is that there are two different “flavors” of Miller Act: the Federal Miller Act, and there are what are referred to (sometimes colloquially, sometimes officially) as “Little” Miller Acts. These little versions are at the state level and regulate the same thing the Federal one does at the national level. Let’s examine the Nebraska Little Miller Act, what it is, what it regulates, and how you as a contractor can ensure you’re in compliance with this important law.
What Is the Miller Act?
The Miller Act, in some form or another, has been around since 1894. At the time it was referred to as the Heard Act. It was designed to protect subcontractors and providers of supplies, materials and services by enforcing the need to carry a performance and payment bond to allow these entities to place a lien against a contractor using their goods and services.
The original Heard Act proved to have some major weaknesses, however, and by 1935 it was replaced by Title 40 of the U.S. Code, Chapter 642, Sections 1-3, Statutes 793, 794. This is the Miller Act as we know it today. The Miller Act requires contractors on some government jobs to carry a performance bond to protect the government against delays and irresponsibility from contractors who don’t complete their jobs.
It also requires those covered to carry payment bonds to protect material suppliers and subcontractors who might be reluctant to take on a project without some security. This helps to create competition and keep costs down.
What Is a Little Miller Act?
A Little Miller Act, then, is a similar statute at the state level. Where Miller Acts protect projects at the Federal level, these protect state government projects in the same way. While based upon the Federal act, these set the dollar value of bonds required for many state projects. In general, as a contractor, you are bound by whichever act is more stringent – Federal or State.
Nebraska Little Miller Act
The Nebraska Little Miller Act allows subcontractors and materials suppliers to place a lien against a construction company who doesn’t complete a job and as such doesn’t tender the payment owed to these entities. Technically such liens are called “bond claims.” In Nebraska, you are required to carry a payment bond with a minimum value of your contract price. This requirement applies to all jobs with a contract value of $15,000 or more.
Where to Get Bonded
If you’re in need of payment bonds to remain in compliance with Federal or Nebraska Little Miller Act requirements, NSSI can help. Check out more information on easy bonding services in this state, and get in touch with us to get started today!