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Minimum wage increase getting mixed reviews

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The New York State Budget calls for an increase in minimum wage, raising it to $9 an hour by the start of 2016. While the wage increase is a jump, it will be gradual.

Currently, minimum wage in New York State is $7.25. Over the next few years it will gradually increase to reach $9 dollars an hour by the start of 2016.

While the change will affect many small businesses, manufactures and farmers, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi says the budget also brings some tax credits to help alleviate the costs.

"There's a manufactures tax decrease there's some increase in incentives to agriculture and for small businesses other tax credit programs that they can take advantage of if they're affected by the minimum wage," said Brindisi.

Tom Clark, owner of Mac-Clark Restaurants and CEO of Adirondack Bank said "If it had to go into effect, I'm glad it's going to be phased in. If it was all at once, it would have been disastrous. With that said however, the minimum wage hike combined with Obamacare will cost a lot of jobs in New York State."

Brindisi says New York has one of the lowest minimum wages compares to other states in the Northeast.

"We have a lot of single mothers, people who can't find full time employment who are living off $15,000 per year have to support a family," said Brindisi. "So really it's trying to bring more people out of poverty off public assistance this is money they're going to spend when they get it."

The state estimates that this increase over the next two years will pump an additional one billion dollars into the New York State economy.

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