Johnson County moves forward with minimum wage hike - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Johnson County moves forward with minimum wage hike

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) -

Johnson County is looking to raise the minimum wage.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors says the plan is to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.

The idea of raising pay up almost $3 per hour has some small Johnson County businesses on edge.

"From a small business perspective, I think $10.10 is a little overboard,"says Mallorie Countryman, the kitchen manager at Scratch Cupcakery. "Even $8.50 to $9 an hour I think is a little more realistic."

But the Board of Supervisors says, with Johnson County having the highest cost of living in the state, the pay raise is necessary.

"We have many people that are paying 30-50 percent of their take-home pay for housing," says Mike Carberry, a Johnson County Supervisor.

Some say the wage raise would make Johnson County more livable.

 "I think it's a good thing," said Mike Waters, the assistant manager at 30Hop. "It's important that everybody has the opportunity to earn a livable wage."

To afford the pay increase, some small businesses will have to raise the prices of their goods and services.

"I think that most people are willing to pay a little bit more to know what they're buying is, you know, they're not supporting poverty wages," says Carberry.

Scratch Cupcakery told us they worry a raise this high could put small businesses like theirs under.

"Absolutely," said Countryman. "Especially here, we've tried to do a lot of marketing strategies, keep our name out there, without too much expense."

She also said it's not just her store she see's being affected.

"I think it could take a huge hit on a lot of small businesses around here," says Countryman.

If the minimum wage is raised, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors told us it will happen in three stages.

First, it will be raised by 95 cents in November, then by 95 cents in May.

It would be raised by a final 95 cents in January to eventually reach $10.10.

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