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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 1, 2014 at 6:47 PM

The math of the proposed city workers’ minimum wage increase

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

0 Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: Chris Nielsen, City Budget Office, City workers

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