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Minimum wage deal gives tax breaks for employers with teen workers

By Tom Precious
ALBANY -- The minimum wage increase coming together at the Capitol will include some protections for businesses, including tax breaks for companies that are required to hike the current $7.25 per hour level for workers they employ who are under age 20.
The looming deal, which will bring the minimum wage to $8 in January and $9 by January 2016, includes a permanant refundable tax credits to cover the difference between the current wage and the higher levels as they kick in. The tax break was a demand of Senate Republicans and is being backed by some business groups.

The minimum wage increase, pushed first by Assembly Democrats and made a priority by a breakaway group of independent Senate Democrats, will not be indexed for inflation. The deal, according to a legislative source, also does not include an increase for people making tip wages, such as waiters.

Officials said 50 percent of minimum wage earners in New York are under the age of 20. Senate co-leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, told The Buffalo News Sunday that protections for businesses that hire workers under age 20 was a priority for Senate Republicans; he predicted companies and not-for-profits would not be able to afford to hire as many young people if the wage hike was permitted without some sort of financial cover for those entities. The new provision discussed today by budget negotiators could also prod some companies to hire younger workers.
While legislative sources were confident the terms of the minimum wage deal will hold, last-minute snags could always change things in the hours or days ahead.
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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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