Minimum wage increase impacts local towns

Updated: 01/02/2014 6:31 PM
Created: 01/02/2014 5:55 PM WHEC.com

The minimum wage in New York State is now $8 an hour. That's up from 75 cents from last year. It's a pay raise for people making minimum wage. But what's the impact on the towns you pay taxes to?

The results depend on how many minimum wage employees a town has and whether a town pays minimum wage at all. In Penfield, the pay increase is $1,300, which is minimal if you compare it to the overall budget. In Avon, the pay increase is $1,500. Webster says it doesn't pay any employees minimum wage so the impact is zero. In Gates, the town supervisor says the impact is $20,000 for 2014.

Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini says it has to do with the number of people they hire for the town's summer recreation programs and for some before and after school programs run by the town. This is an increase they budgeted for, but the supervisor says he would have rather reduced the town budget than increase it.  

Mark Assini, Supervisor, Town of Gates, said, “I don't want to speak for other towns but in the town of Gates, we would have reduced the taxes by about $20,000 if that implementation not taken place. So it cost us and the taxpayers about $20,000. So it's not a lot, maybe a penny on the taxes per thousand, but every little bit helps and every little bit hurts when you have an increase like that.”

The increase to the Brighton budget because of the minimum wage increase is $17,000. The Brighton Town Supervisor said most of that is going to seasonal and summer park employees. For both of those towns, the increase in spending because of the minimum wage increase is less than one percent of their total budgets. 


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