State Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, announced Wednesday plans to introduce a bill aimed to please: one part minimum-wage increase, one part tax cut for small businesses.
Whether to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 was a contentious issue in the most recent session and will come up again when lawmakers return to Albany. Opponents argued that an increase in costs would hurt businesses and hinder job creation.
There hasn’t been an increase since 2005.
“Albany is in stalemate between those who want a minimum wage hike and those who want a tax cut for businesses,” Ball said in a statement Wednesday. “We can do both, and we should, but any hike in the minimum wage must be paired with an equally compelling tax cut package for small business owners.
“My comprehensive package increases the minimum wage while also cutting taxes on small business owners by 20 percent and fully repealing the MTA payroll tax,” he continued. “If we can avoid the politics and work together, we can take care of both the employee and the employer.”
Ball, joined by former Mt. Kisco Mayor Patricia Reilly, will announce the bill, the “Jobs & People Smart Package” Friday at 11:30 a.m. The location for the announcement is to be determined.
UPDATED: Ball’s Democratic opponent, Justin Wagner from Croton-on-Hudson, accused the incumbent of flip-flopping on the minimum wage issue.
“So, Greg Ball is now for small business tax cuts and an increase in the minimum wage? Funny, that’s been my proposal for the last year,” Wagner said in a statement. “Even funnier, just last week in our Poughkeepsie Journal editorial board meeting Senator Ball said increasing the minimum wage ‘doesn’t make sense’ and would result in ‘businesses laying off people.’
“In fact, Ball is still promoting campaign material that attacks me for supporting a minimum wage increase,” he said. “If there’s one thing that Hudson Valley voters understand it’s that Greg Ball will say anything during election season.”