Business Groups Come Out Against Minimum Wage Hike

Earlier today Assembly Speaker Sheldon Speaker officially introduced  a measure that would raise the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, calling it “absurd to expect anyone to afford the cost of living today and be able to invest in their future on a pay rate of $7.25 an hour.”

The measure is likely to sail through the Assembly, but today the leaders of two business groups urged lawmakers to vote against it.

Arguing that it would put businesses at a competitive disadvantage and do nothing to decrease poverty, Dean Norton, president of the New York Farm Bureau said, “When the government imposes costs on a business that the market does not dictate, we typically call this a tax. Today’s proposal to increase New York’s minimum wage is a stealth tax for our State’s farmers masquerading as a benefit for workers. In reality, this proposal will hurt the very people that it aims to help, by artificially increasing payroll and forcing farmers to make tough decisions about the size of their workforce and the price of their products.”

Heather Bricetti, the president of the Business Council of New York State–whose members, she says, employ more than 1.2 million New Yorkers, said that the measure would hurt job growth.

“The Business Council believes that the way to improve our state’s economy and the lives of all New Yorkers is to create more private-sector jobs,” she said. “Raising the minimum wage would only hurt New York’s small businesses, farms and not-for-profits that are struggling to make their current payrolls, and reduce job opportunities, in this difficult economy,” said Heather Briccetti, President and CEO of the Business Council of New York State, Inc.”