The article estimating the cost of paying a minimum wage of $15 an hour to city workers at $1 million [“$1M price tag tied to paying Seattle city workers $15/hr,” Local News, Jan. 28] lacked an important thing: the proportion of that figure to the total city budget.
According to the City Budget Office’s website, the proposed 2014 budget is $4.4 billion. It’s a little difficult to work out all the zeros on my little calculator, and maybe on yours too, but it looks to me like that $1 million would amount to 0.02% (rounded), or two hundredths of 1 percent.
$1 million is a big scary number. Two hundredths of 1 percent, not so much. It would have been much more helpful in informing the public to have included this context. If you wanted to do a little more work, you might find out how much increasing the budget by this amount would cost each Seattle taxpayer. My off-the-cuff guess is, not so much.
Chris Nielsen, Shoreline