I want to commend The News Tribune on its recent editorial about the negative impacts of a $15 minimum wage and the paper’s support for the much more reasonable $12 minimum wage measure on this fall’s ballot.
Measure 1, which would increase the wage to $15 virtually overnight, would hurt my small business directly. Harkness Furniture, which my family has owned and operated in South Tacoma for 95 years, would have a budget impact of $50,000 a year if Measure 1 became law. We would have to consider layoffs or reductions in benefits to compensate.
Measure 1B, however, is the minimum wage increase that makes sense for Tacoma. It increases the wage to $12, a number that works for our city’s economy and, unlike the other measure, gives business owners two years to adjust as the increase is phased in. The $12 minimum wage measure was also put on the ballot by the Tacoma City Council after a collaboration with Tacoma’s largest employers, small businesses, nonprofits, labor unions and elected officials.
Measure 1B is exactly how Tacoma should address income inequality without crippling the city’s small businesses, nonprofits and economic health.