From the KCGOP,
The Seattle City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour today—an increase of more than 60%. The plan will phase-in the wage hike over a period of three to seven years depending on business size.
As Shift WA reported this weekend, the $15 minimum wage ordinance—originally presented by Mayor Ed Murray—includes serious factual errors that threaten to devastate small businesses. The error lies in Murray’s definition of the term “franchise.” According to the plan passed by the City Council, any franchise operation is defined as big business whether it operates as one or not.
Contrary to Murray’s definition, franchises often operate on a small business scale. The Seattle Times explains that franchises “have their own tax ID numbers and payroll — they are independent business units separate from the franchiser…”
The false definition places franchise owners at a disadvantage to their small business competitors—they have at three to four years to implement the $15 minimum wage while the small businesses have seven years.
ABC News reports that the International Franchise Association—a national business group representing the interests of franchise owners—plans to sue to stop the ordinance. Following the City Council’s final vote, the group stated, “The City Council’s action today is unfair, discriminatory and a deliberate attempt to achieve a political agenda at the expense of small franchise business owners.”
The overall lesson to the ordinance’s passage? Mayor Murray and all the members of the Seattle City Council operate without even the most basic understanding of business.
Writing of the yet unknown impacts of the $15 minimum wage ordinance, Seattle celebrity chef and business owner Tom Douglas offered this insight:
“This is going to touch everybody soon, so I suggest you do your own math and see where it might affect your life. Can or will your employer still afford health care? Staff meals? Everything you buy from local produce to rent to childcare to your own meals out on the town will be affected. We do know that the City Council and Mayor’s office will still make their wage and enjoy their health and retirement benefits without fail.
“I would be lying to say that I’m not concerned with the outcome of this national experiment happening in the Seattle market. It is also not lost on me that our City Council and Mayor’s office have very little small business experience… the cost of failure is ours, the tax payers. Raises and benefits given to city workers are from our tax pockets. They might get voted out of office for their actions and decrees, but they won’t go bankrupt. It is inherently easier to spend other people’s money than the gut check of investing your last dime into a dream.”