Minimum Wage Bill Takes Into Account That New York Is One Of The Most Expensive Cities On Earth

June 18, 2014  |  

While New York City is one of the most expensive cities in America, its inflation-adjusted minimum wage is among the lowest of the major cities too.

Obviously not good news for residents. But the city has no control over its minimum wage. It is set by the state government. So even though it’s 2.4 times more expensive to reside in Manhattan than Buffalo, for example, the minimum wage is the same in both places, something that doesn’t sit well with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who pointed this out in a new report.

But a new bill in Albany may change this. “On top of raising the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2015, it would allow independent municipalities like New York City to make their own minimum wage up to 30 percent higher than the state minimum wage. That means if the state minimum wage were $10.10 per hour, New York City could have a minimum wage of $13.13 per hour,” reports The Huffington Post.

According to Stringer’s report, this would put an extra $100 in the pockets of 1.2 million New Yorkers each week.

“New York City deserves the ability to set its own minimum wage,” Stringer said in a press release. “We are falling behind other states and cities when it comes to the minimum wage, despite the fact that this is the most expensive city in which to live in the nation. There is no one size fits all when it comes to the minimum wage; raising it to $13.13 would make an enormous difference for more than one million New York City residents.”

According to Stringer it is a win-win proposal. Businesses don’t have to decrease their staff. Instead they can adjust to higher wages through a “combination of higher prices, lower profits and increased efficiency.” And he pointed out that research proves that higher wages result in an increase in spending by low-income households, which in turn helps local businesses.

But who knows if the bill will get passed. New York’s legislative session ends this Thursday and many state Senate Republicans are against it.

Workers statewide will rally in Albany Tuesday to push for legislators to pass the bill.

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