Small Business Challenges in New Jersey

Author: Laurie Ehlbeck Date: August 13, 2010

Unemployment Insurance: New Jersey continues to have some of the highest state unemployment insurance taxes in the nation. The New Jersey rate, along with other payroll taxes, is a job growth inhibitor. A combination of an unemployment rate of nearly 10% and mismanagement of the fund has resulted in the UI fund reaching its breaking point. The state has been forced to borrow from the federal government to meet its obligations. Generous benefits and easy qualification for benefits put New Jersey outside the mainstream and should be modified to bring costs in line with our competitor states. NFIB supports comprehensive reform of the Unemployment Insurance Program to help ensure the competitiveness of New Jersey business.

Healthcare Reform
NFIB supports comprehensive, market-based healthcare reform that controls costs, improves quality and expands coverage and access while avoiding government-run healthcare and costly mandates. In addition, NFIB members have supported using existing tax dollars to incentivize more people to purchase coverage while also engaging in healthy behaviors that will ultimately reduce healthcare costs for everyone. NFIB supports efforts to allow more flexible options for small business owners and employees. It also supports measures that would permit small businesses to pool together in groups to purchase health insurance.
Tax and Fee Increases
NFIB opposes any additional tax and fee increases on New Jersey’s employers and taxpayers. Small business—the engine that drives our economy—simply cannot afford anymore, especially in this economy. New Jersey’s state and local tax burdens on business are the highest in the nation. Now is the time to decrease that burden and grow our economy, not make it worse.
Common-Sense Lawsuit Reform
NFIB supports common-sense lawsuit reform as a way to reduce New Jersey’s crushing tax burdens, lower the cost of doing business, create new jobs and opportunities, reduce the cost of state and local government and make health insurance more affordable. Common-sense lawsuit reform for New Jersey is long overdue.
Independent Contractors
NFIB supports the creation of a simple, clear and fair definition for “independent contractors.”  Such a definition would help business owners to know up front whether someone is an independent contractor so they won’t be fined later for misclassification.
Prevailing Wage Expansions
NFIB opposes the expansion of prevailing wage laws, including linking prevailing wage to IDA projects. Prevailing wage laws artificially increase costs on employers and government, and drive up New Jersey’s already high cost of doing business and oppressive tax burden. Lawmakers should be working to reduce these costs, which are a major drag on our economy, not increase them.

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