Minimum Wage Hike Means Tax Breaks

Congress softened the bite of higher wages with a raft of tax deductions for small biz that take effect this year

Workers earning the federal minimum wage enjoyed a boost from $5.15 to $5.85 an hour on July 24, the first of three annual hikes that will bring the rate to $7.25 in 2009. But along with the raise, Congress passed a package of $4.8 billion in tax breaks for small businesses that go into effect this year. While employers in 30 states and the District of Columbia won't be hit directly in the first year of the raise because state laws already mandate wages higher than the new federal rate, those businesses can still take advantage of the new tax breaks.

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