Why not itemize cost of government?

Last week the state’s minimum wage increase went into effect, and in one of the most affected industries, the restaurant business, at least one owner decided to let customers know how it was impacting them.

The owners of the Oasis Cafe in Stillwater have started adding a 35 cent “minimum wage fee” to customer’s tab. The owners figure the minimum wage increase will cost their cafe about $10,000 a year in added costs.

Most businesses would just add the wage increase into their cost of doing business and raise prices to cover it. The Oasis owners thought people ought to know why it was costing more to eat at their place.

The move has created quite a stir, with some critics calling it outrageous. Even Gov. Mark Dayton said it was “tacky” to call attention to the minimum wage increase.

We call it refreshing honesty. The minimum wage increase is not exactly a tax, but it is a cost created by government action. It might be interesting if other business followed this practice, if sales slips and receipts could itemize what portion of the price we pay was going to cover cost of complying goverment rules and regulations.

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