Congress moves closer to minimum wage hike

Share this content:

The House of Representatives did something that could greatly impact the bottom line of most providers: It voted to raise the minimum wage.

The measure would bump the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour by 2007, up from the $5.15 rate in place since 1997. The legislation now faces a tough battle in the Senate, however.

The bill also would exempt from taxation all estates worth as much as $5 million — or $10 million for a married couple. It also would apply a 15% tax rate to inheritances above that threshold and as much as $25 million. Estates exceeding $25 million in value would be subject to a 30% tax rate.

Democrats are generally in favor of raising the minimum wage but against broadening estate tax exemptions; Republicans largely hold the opposing views, though there has been some discussion of the two parties compromising so each can pass a provision it wants.