The Florida Attractions Association recommends voters oppose Amendment 2 on the ballot for Florida's November 3 General Election.
Amendment 2 Ballot Language:
Raising Florida's Minimum Wage
"Raises minimum wage to $10.00 per hour effective September 30th, 2021. Each September 30th thereafter, minimum wage shall increase by $1.00 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour on September 30th, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting September 30th, 2027." Vote "No" on Amendment 2
Currently, Florida's minimum wage is $8.56 per hour. This is greater than the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25. Prior to the pandemic, few employers could attract quality team members only paying the state's minimum wage, and anecdotally, most paid closer to $10/hour. Minimum wage is paid to relatively younger and/or unskilled team members to introduce them to career opportunities, provide job skills and afford an opportunity to demonstrate their initiative and proficiency to an employer.
The attractions industry sets a great standard for offering opportunities for entry-level employees. Our team members receive excellent training and are provided a broad range of responsibilities within their job function to deliver safe, courteous, and efficient service to our guests. In particular, the tourism industry is a major employer of young people with little to no experience. Their opportunities to learn basic job skills in customer service, managing responsibilities, and teamwork are essential in both their educational, and career goals.
Opportunity is an intangible benefit to our entry level positions. Those who choose tourism and travel as a career path, will, on average, economically outperform those who began their careers in other industries. The U. S. Travel Association research Moving Forward concluded that: "The average maximum salary for employees who start their career in the travel industry reaches $81,900 - significantly more than the other industries."
Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour will artificially alter the balance of the employment market's supply and demand. The additional cost of doing business will either be passed along to consumers, or fewer opportunities for youth employment, and, with price sensitivity in the pandemic, will more likely result in automation and more self-service/technology-driven tasks by guests. The loss of entry level jobs will result in denying our entry level workers the opportunity to hone their skills and experience potential career paths.
As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog and taxpayer research institute for more than forty years and the trusted eyes and ears of Florida taxpayers, Florida TaxWatch works to improve the productivity and accountability of Florida government. Its research recommends productivity enhancements and explains the statewide impact of fiscal and economic policies and practices on citizens and businesses. The FAA is a member of Florida TaxWatch.
Florida TaxWatch (FTW) released a special report, Amendment 2: Florida's $15 Minimum Wage Initiative analyzing the impacts on businesses and taxpayers of Florida's $15 minimum wage initiative which will go before the voters this November as Amendment 2. In this report, TaxWatch finds a fundamental problem with increasing the minimum hourly wage to $15 is that while intended to create winners, it creates many more unintended losers, creating the potential for detrimental effects on taxpayers, small business, and low-skill workers. A 2019 report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that while implementing a federal $15 minimum wage could raise 1.3 million Americans out of poverty, as many as 3.7 million Americans who would otherwise be employed would be jobless as a result.
Amendment 2 Hurts You
A grass-roots campaign, Amendment 2 Hurts You has been established to educate Floridians regarding the perils of a $15 minimum wage. Lessons are drawn on the unintended consequences of an artificially inflated minimum wage in other cities in the United Sates. The devastating effects of increased unemployment, homelessness and economic collapse as witnessed through the experience of $15 minimum wage in New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco establish a cautionary note for Floridians to consider.
The middle of a pandemic is not the time for a social experiment with our spiraling economy. Join thousands of workers and local business owners and stop ballot amendment 2 from strangling Florida's future.