The 1 Percent Tax on Restaurant Meals is a Bad Idea
There is a shortage of good ideas at the Capitol this summer as lawmakers try to put together a budget for Connecticut, but there is no shortage of bad ideas.
One of those bad ideas is a plan to allow cities and towns to levy a new tax on restaurant meals as a means to increase tax revenues to municipalities. There is no rhyme or reason to this concept, it is just another random scheme to help lawmakers pay for the promises they have made in the past to get themselves elected.
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There were two bills proposed this session to increase the minimum wage.
These bills would increase Connecticut's current minimum wage of $10.10 to $15.00 per hour by 2022, and would also increase the tipped wages for servers and bartenders proportionately. If these bills were to pass tipped wages in 2022 for servers would increase to $9.48 per hour and bartender tipped wage would increase to $12.22 per hour.
SB 13 AAC The Minimum Fair Wage
HB 6208 AA Increasing the Minimum Wage
Tuesday the Labor and Public Employees Committee met to vote on these bills. The Senate Bill failed on a split vote and the House Bill passed by a one vote margin after an hour long debate between the committee. This is the first time a legislative committee has had to deal with the evenly split Senate. With a tied Senate, the Senate now has the ability to split the committee vote on a Senate bill.
The CRA will keep you informed on House Bill 6208 moving forward.
Elimination of the Tip Credit:
Also in the Labor and Public Employees Committee is HB 7084, An Act Concerning Employee Wages. This bill would the eliminate the tip credit. The CRA was present at the public hearing Tuesday testifying against this bill. Here are the basics:
Some elected officials in the CT Legislature want to eliminate CT’s tip credit. The tip credit is a federal and state law which allows restaurant employers to take a credit on the wages paid to employees who regularly receive gratuities.
CT restaurant employers can choose to ban tipping altogether in their restaurants and replace it with a service charge. A service charge can be distributed amongst all restaurant employees at any amount, or not at all. Servers and bartenders could then be paid minimum wage and not receive tips at all.
Restaurant operators and tipped employees need to work together to educate legislators and let them know that the tip credit works for servers, bartenders and operators.
How to Help
An online petition has been created to tell elected officials not to cut employees earnings! Please feel free to pass this along and have hospitality employees get involved. The more signatures and comments the better, it does make a difference!
Click here to see the bill in its entirety.