Senate approves a wage hike tempered by tax breaks

WASHINGTON The U.S. Senate voted nearly unanimously Thursday to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour in three phases over a 26-month stretch, but sought to temper the blow to restaurants and other small businesses by tacking several tax breaks onto the measure.

The sweeteners included a 15-year depreciation schedule for newly constructed restaurants or renovations of older ones, and a five-year extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, a credit given to

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