National Restaurant Association Reacts to Minimum Wage Increase and Tax Relief Package Passed by Congress

Washington, DC) – The National Restaurant Association today reacted to passage of the Iraq Supplemental Conference Report (H.R. 1591) which includes an increase in the minimum wage and a $4.9 billion tax relief package.  Included in the package is the industry-targeted FICA tax credit fix, however it does not include any depreciation relief for restaurants.  The package also includes extensions to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), and small business expensing.   

“As the largest employer of minimum wage workers in the U.S., targeted tax relief is vital to the restaurant industry to help mitigate the impact of an increase in the minimum wage,” said Peter Kilgore, acting interim President and Chief Executive Officer.  “We are pleased that the package contains the FICA tax credit fix, it is extremely disappointing that it does not include accelerated depreciation for new restaurant construction and improvements.”

“President Bush is expected to veto this legislation, which leaves the window of opportunity open for continued discussion and perhaps movement on including additional provisions – such as restaurant depreciation relief.  We remain optimistic.”