ATR Leads Coalition Opposing a $15 Minimum Wage Tax

Today Americans for Tax Reform submitted a letter along with 16 other organizations to the U.S. Senate in opposition to a $15 minimum wage tax.  

Recently, Senators Ron Wyden and Bernie Sanders proposed a tax on businesses that do not pay their workers a wage of $15 per hour. This came after the Senate Parliamentarian ruled against including a $15 minimum wage hike in the American Rescue Plan. 

Thankfully, Democrats abandoned this alternative plan yesterday. It is unlikely, though, that this is the last time this proposal will be brought up by Congressional Democrats. In this way, Americans for Tax Reform strongly opposes any and all efforts to tax businesses who do not pay their workers a wage of $15 per hour. 

This tax would likely have identical effects to a minimum wage increase. It would reduce jobs, increase automation, and crush small businesses. It is disappointing to see Democrats pushing such a radical, contractionary agenda, especially during an economic downturn when businesses are already struggling to stay afloat.

You can read the letter below.

March 1st, 2021

Dear Senator:

On behalf of millions of taxpayers across the country, we write to express our opposition to the proposal by Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden and Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders to implement a tax on businesses that do not pay their workers a wage of $15 per hour.

According to press reports, Democrats have abandoned this job killing tax increase over concerns that it would be difficult to implement, easy to avoid, and deeply unpopular. This is welcome news.

As you know, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that a $15 wage mandate would eliminate up to 2.7 million jobs. The decision to abandon this tax, as well as the recent ruling by the Senate parliamentarian that a national $15 minimum wage mandate does not comply with Senate budget reconciliation rules, is a relief to workers and small businesses who would have been harmed by efforts to double the minimum wage during a pandemic.

We remain deeply concerned by Democrat proposals to implement a massive tax hike on American employers that would kill jobs and harm the economy during a pandemic. If enacted into law, these types of proposals would also serve would also serve as a precedent to selectively target taxpayers based on any number of factors. Lawmakers should reject any effort to use the tax code to enact discriminatory or selective taxes.

Moving forward, we call on all members of Congress to reject both the overt efforts to implement job-killing national wage mandates, as well as any attempts to institute a backdoor national wage mandate by raising taxes on American businesses.


Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Brent Wm. Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity

Bethany Marcum
CEO, Alaska Policy Forum

Andrew F. Quinlan
President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Ryan Ellis
President, Center for a Free Economy

Thomas A. Schatz
President, Citizens Against Government Waste

Chuck Muth
President, Citizen Outreach

David McIntosh
President, Club for Growth

Michael Saltsman
Managing Director, Employment Policies Institute

Adam Brandon
President, FreedomWorks

Carrie Lukas
President, Independent Women’s Forum

Heather R. Higgins
CEO, Independent Women’s Voice

Seton Motley
President, Less Government

Brandon Arnold
Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union

Tom Hebert
Executive Director, Open Competition Center

James L. Martin
Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
President, 60 Plus Association

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance