Big Bear, CA, July 1, 2014 – California workers earning minimum wage should see a bump in their next paycheck. The first minimum wage hike in six years goes into effect today raising the hourly wage from eight to nine dollars. Although this should help most low paid workers, not everyone is happy about the increase. Many small business owners are concerned that this will cut too deeply into their bottom line and cause them to have to pass this increase directly on to their customers. It could be a double edged sword with businesses hiring fewer workers and reducing hours worked. In 2016, the minimum wage is scheduled to increase again, to ten dollars per hour.
Also happening today is the reduction of the gasoline excise tax by 3.5 cents. The State Board of Equalization voted in February to reduce the tax to 36 cents per gallon which is the second highest gas tax in the nation after New York. A spokesman for the BOE stated, “This much needed tax relief will arrive as Californians are on the road for summer vacations.” However, the reduction in the excise tax rate doesn’t necessarily mean relief to the wallets of drivers. Gas suppliers, who pay the tax, are not required to pass along the savings to their customers.