[Regarding “Buncombe Approves $17 Minimum Wage for County Staff,” May 25, Xpress:] In connection with the Buncombe County pay raise: Bravo anytime an employer recognizes the need for better pay.
However, $17 per hour for full-time work, after typical withholdings, still only nets a person about $22,000 per year. A $1,550 per month (supposed average rate) apartment, plus typical utilities, costs about …. $22,000 per year. Every increase is helpful, but the people crunching the numbers must not be living the hourly experience, as they truly don’t seem to understand what it costs to live, even modestly, as a renter in our region.
I recently vacated a 700 square-foot, one-bedroom unit because the landlord raised the rent by about 40% to $2,000. At $17 per hour full-time, two people sharing that particularly monstrous rental rate would still be spending nearly 50% of their incomes just for the privilege of having a roof.
— Greg Vineyard