Taking its cue from other, larger cities, San Marcos, Texas, recently voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 dollars per hour for businesses applying for tax breaks and others incentives to build or expand in the city. In addition to the higher wage, businesses must also offer all employees and their dependents benefits equal to those offered to full-time employees. The San Marcos City Council saw requiring the higher pay rate as a way businesses could return the favor of receiving tax incentives to the local economy. This new law applies only to future businesses seeking economic development incentives, and not companies already doing business in San Marcos. San Marcos joins the ranks of cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. that require a “living wage.”
Businesses seeking tax incentives to build or expand in San Marcos need to be prepared to pay a higher minimum wage and offer benefits to all of employees. This trend is likely to continue in other cities across the nation.