Even though the state has ranked first in three out of the last four years in a major survey for “outbound” migration, a Democratic legislator has introduced a bill that would raise the tipped minimum wage in the Garden State.
The bill, A857, would increase the tipped minimum wage from the federal standard of $2.13 to $3.39 by the end of 2014, and $5.93 by the end of 2016. The legislation was introduced by Democratic Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter of Paterson who told The Daily Signal Wednesday she is sensitive to concerns of restaurant owners, but says it is time for the tipped wage to be increased.
“We haven’t touched this rate for tipped workers for over 20 years now.
“This is a high-cost state and many of the tipped workers have to be in two or three jobs just to make ends meet.”
The “high-cost” to which Sumter is referring has caused many New Jerseyans to flee the state for other corners of the country. In an annual study conducted by United Van Lines which tracks “outbound” and “inbound” migration across the United States, New Jersey has ranked first in “outbound” migration the past three out of four years, and has ranked in the top three every year between 2006-2013, according to Business Insider.
Rob Pluta, owner of Leonardo’s II, an Italian restaurant located in the southern New Jersey town of Lawrenceville, told The Daily Signal he is concerned that the cost of doing business in the Garden State is becoming unsustainable, and is not a fan of the proposed legislation, as he would have to pay an extra $24,000 per year plus payroll taxes.
“There’s so much rich history here and so much potential for our business community… But the price of doing business keeps going up, and it makes New Jersey less competitive than it should be with neighboring states.
“This is not a logical proposal…It’s an additional cost and an additional burden.”
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
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