- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Business leaders from six national companies are requesting D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray veto legislation that would raise minimum hourly wages at large retail stores.

In a letter submitted Wednesday to Mr. Gray, representatives from the Home Depot Inc., Target Corp., AutoZone Inc., Lowe’s Companies Inc., Walgreen Co. and Macy’s Inc. urged the veto because they say the Large Retailer Accountability Act is unfairly discriminatory. Their letter also for the first time confirms some of the retailers — in addition to Wal-Mart — that could alter plans for store development in the District as a result of the bill.

“With the passage of the Large Retailer Accountability Act, any future plans for retail expansion in the city must be revisited,” the letter states. “Arbitrary conditions that subject our stores to rules that other employers, including countless competitors, are not equally subjected to unfairly distort the marketplace and are cause for grave concern.”

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has threatened to abandon three of its six planned D.C. stores if the bill stands. The legislation requires that large retailers meeting specific requirements pay a minimum hourly wage of $12.50 — an increase of $4.25 over the city’s minimum wage. The bill is aimed at stores larger than 75,000 square feet whose parent companies gross at least $1 billion per year.

Members of the Gray administration have previously said it could cost the city additional development from unnamed retailers who have voiced their opposition but the administration had not named the retailers who expressed concern.

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