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home : most recent : development - economic September 23, 2017

8/29/2017 5:52:00 PM
Ordinance would tie higher wages to tax breaks in South Bend

Jeff Parrott, South Bend Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND — Employers seeking property tax breaks from the city may soon have to pay their workers at least the minimum wage paid to city employees.

Most property tax abatement recipients probably already pay at least $10.10 an hour, the city employee minimum wage, but indexing their wages to the city employee minimum wage – as it increases over time – would give the city a little more “ability to reduce income inequality” at a time when unemployment is low but wage growth has remained relatively flat nationally, said council member Regina Williams-Preston, the bill’s author.

“It’s not a living wage but it is a nice step in the right direction,” Williams-Preston said Monday at a meeting of the council’s Community Investment Committee.

Marty Wolfson, a retired University of Notre Dame economist, has helped Williams-Preston draft the measure and made it the topic of a panel discussion at the June meeting of his Community Forum for Economic Justice.

The council had been slated to take a final vote on the bill Monday night, but Williams-Preston agreed to table it until the council’s next meeting Sept. 11, after members wanted more time to review some changes that Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s administration requested late Monday afternoon.

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