New surcharge covers city's $15 minimum wage

Customers at one business in SeaTac, Wash. must now pay a “living wage” surcharge to cover the city’s new $15 minimum wage.

Masterpark, an airport parking service, is now charging its customers an additional 99 cents per parking day. Masterpark lists the following explanation on its website under its “rates and reservations” page: “MasterPark charges, taxes, and fees include a ‘Living Wage’ surcharge of 99 cents per day. This is due to the new $15 per hour minimum wage requirement for certain businesses in SeaTac. The surcharge covers a portion of the resulting increase in operating costs.”

James Sherk, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, remained unfazed by Masterpark’s move. He noted that when minimum wage levels increase, companies must either decrease payroll or raise prices to make up for the cost. He expects to see both strategies in Seattle.

Nearby Seattle voted last week to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years. In an Associated Press interview after the vote, City Council member Kshama Sawant said that “$15 in Seattle is just the beginning.”