Tag Archives: minimum wage

Wage hike spurs fear, changes for restaurants

The Buffalo News has a terrific piece in today’s paper examining the ways restaurateurs are preparing for the significant worker wage increase coming into effect next year. Tipped worker wages are set to rise by 50 percent, from $5.00 an hour all the way to $7, come January 1st. That’s squeezing already tight profit margins and forcing management to cut hours, raise prices and consider more upcharges.

From The Buffalo News: “Betty’s is a long-established neighborhood favorite on Virginia Street in Buffalo. In anticipation of the new wage law, it has increased prices by between 50 cents and $1.50 per item, and will probably do it again in a few months. The strategy is to soften the blow with two smaller, separate increases, said Carole Simon, a Betty’s co-owner.

The price increase would have been steeper, but the restaurant tried to avoid that by cutting costs elsewhere. It has altered its hours to cut down on payroll costs, opening a half-hour later and closing a half-hour earlier. It has removed two popular but time-consuming dishes from the menu – the jibarito plantain sandwich and the spinach potato pancakes. And it has pared dishes down to their basic elements, listing them with upcharges for extras. That way, customers have the option of ordering the basic eggs, home fries and toast for $5.50, or they can upgrade to vegan sausage and gluten-free bread if they’re willing to pay more.”

Remember this when advocates for a $15 an hour minimum wage for all workers say The Business Council and other business groups are wrong when we predict wage increases will negatively impact the economy and cost jobs.

Learn more about our fight against a $15 an hour minimum wage by visiting www.minimumwagerealitycheck.com.

Buffalo News: Tax break, subsidizing minimum-wage hike more costly than estimated

The Buffalo News LogoTom Precious of The Buffalo News took a look at the cost of the tax break being given to taxpayers to offset the higher payroll costs for businesses under the new minimum wage hike program. It appears original estimates were off by nearly by tens of millions of dollars.

Click here to read more.

While The Business Council was pleased that the new state budget limited spending, it does have concerns. Click here to read more.

Assembly passes $135 billion budget

Gannett reporters Joseph Spector and Jessica Bakeman break down the specifics of the Assembly approval of the $135 billion budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year. It may be done, but both Republicans and Democrats were unhappy with some of the provisions including cuts to services for people with developmental disabilities and the minimum wage provision.

Click here to read more.

Buffalo News: New York minimum-wage law sparks controversy over state subsidy

Tom Precious, Buffalo News reporter, spoke with Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs at The Business Council, and others about the minimum wage provisions that, according to Precious, led to what some tax experts are saying is a first in the United States: “New York taxpayers, not employers, will cover the higher payroll costs associated with raising the minimum wage to $8 for a select group of employees – teenagers between 16 and 19 years old,” wrote Precious.

Click here to read more.

TU’s Casey Seiler: Senate debate on final bills “get weird”

You’ve got to hand it to Casey Seiler, the Times Union state editor. He hung in there long enough in the wee hours of Wednesday  to hear the Senate’s debate on the final set of bills of the state budget.

Read Seiler’s take on the Senate’s passage of budget bills in the dark of night, a night only a vampire could love.

More on the minimum wage reimbursement credit

E.J. McMahon’s latest NY Torch blog post focuses on the problems that will be created by the state’s new “minimum wage reimbursement credit” saying that the Fiscal Policy Institute was right in pointing out that the credit  will “create a disincentive to hire older workers and a disincentive to raise wages above the new minimum for younger workers.”

Read E.J.’s full blog post here.

Although the credit is better than nothing, The Business Council had advocated for a training wage covering all 16 – 21 year olds and/or for the first 60  – 90 days on the job.  A straightforward training wage would have avoided most of the problems raised by FPI, and would have been easier for businesses to manage.



Senate completes work on budget

At 4:32 this morning, the Senate finished its work on the state budget. In a statement released shortly after, Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos said, ““This is a business-friendly and family-friendly budget because it emphasizes the Senate Republican’s priorities to help businesses create new jobs and provide tax relief to struggling middle-class families.”

Jimmy Vielkind of the Times Union filed this story 11:13 last night. Good detail, including mention of the Fiscal Policy Institute report released yesterday which argued that the proposed tax-credit (to offset the cost of an increase in the minimum wage) would lead businesses to “fire older workers and employ the young to reap the tax benefits.”


Businesses see mixed bag in NY state budget

Joseph Spector of Gannett reported on how business is reacting to the proposed state budget. He quoted Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council:

“While the final agreement on both of these measures is an improvement over the original executive budget proposals, they are not consistent with a strategy to promote economic growth and the creation of good paying jobs,” said  Briccetti.

Click here to read more.

Post: Utility-tax shock in Andy’s new budget

Erik Kriss, bureau chief at the New York Post, writes about the extension of the 18-a utility tax that was strongly opposed by The Business Council and many lawmakers in both the Assembly and Senate. Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council, Mike Durant of NFIB and the Citizen’s Budget Commission are mentioned in the piece.

Click here to read more.