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One photo reveals big issue with Seattle’s $15 minimum wage

By   /   June 5, 2014  /   No Comments

By Dustin Hurst | Northwest Watchdog 

It’s easy enough to discuss what could happen under a controversial policy, but it’s a little more difficult to provide evidence after enactment to prove a claim. 

In the case of SeaTac and its newly minted $15-per-hour minimum wage, the proof comes from a single photo of a parking receipt:

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSANDS WORDS: Yep, that’s a $6.93 ‘living wage surcharge’ right there.

Northwest Watchdog called Masterpark to verify the authenticity of the receipt. Kevin, the attendant on duty Wednesday afternoonconfirmed the charge is real. To deal with the higher wage, enacted on Jan. 1, Masterpark is charging customers an additional 99 cents per parking day, a surcharge that comes on top of all other taxes and fees. 

The Washington Policy Center, a free-market think tank, originally noticed the receipt and offered its own analysis of the situation. 

“Contrary to what supporters claim, increasing the minimum wage does not create jobs and stimulate the economy,” wrote Erin Shannon, the center’s small business analyst. “The higher wages are not free money.  The increased cost must either be absorbed by the employer, which is impossible for many who already operate on shoe-string profit margins, or it must be passed on to workers, in the form of reduced hours and benefits, and consumers, in the form of higher prices.  Either way, someone pays.”

Shannon calculated that the new surcharge amounts to an 8.25 percent tax hike for Masterpark’s customers. 

This should stand as a warning to Seattle, which just approved a $15-per-hour minimum wage this week.

This is just a taste of what’s coming. 

Contact: Dustin@Watchdog.org

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Dustin is the Social Media Coordinator for Watchdog.org and a staff writer for Northwest Watchdog. He specializes in finding government waste, reporting on elections and innovating new media strategies.