During this legislative session, the New Jersey State Legislature proposed Senate Bill No. 67 to establish a government mandated program for the funding of benefits to workers who provide services to consumers through large-scale contracting agents, like Uber or Lyft. The bill would acquire its funding by imposing a new surcharge on all consumers who utilize the workers’ services, equal to the lesser of 25 percent per transaction or $6 per hour. While the proposed new tax/surcharge seeks to achieve a worthwhile goal, further review and study of this measure by a legislative task force should occur before the legislation advances.

In its current form, the bill calls for “contracting agents” of at least 50 individual workers to “contribute funds to qualified benefit providers to provide benefits to workers of the contracting agents.” The bill defines a “contracting agent” as any business or entity that (i) facilitates the provision of services by workers to consumers seeking such services, and (ii) makes payments to workers using IRS Form 1099 for independent contractors. The bill requires contracting agents to contribute the lesser of 25 percent of the total fee collected from the consumer for each transaction of services provided, or six dollars for every hour that the worker provided services to the consumer.

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