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NY Business Council: $15 Wage is $15.7B Business Burden

Steven Depolo, Flickr

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A leading New York state business organization says Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour would increase private sector labor costs by $15.7 billion a year.

The Business Council of New York State cited the number in a statement Wednesday formally opposing Cuomo's increase, which it says will hit small businesses the hardest while reducing the state's overall economic competitiveness.

Cuomo says new business tax breaks could offset higher labor costs. The Democratic governor proposed $15 minimum wage for all sectors of the economy last month when his administration approved a plan to set a $15 minimum for fast-food workers.

Supporters say the increase is not only deserved but will also boost the economy by increasing the spending power of low-wage workers.