The state of New Jersey continues to expand its unfriendly attitude toward small business in the form of added taxes, fees, regulations and mandates that benefit the state, and cost business and consumers more at each turn, all the while destroying jobs.
Recent bills pending, and some passed, have further invaded small business operations causing increased compliance through additional paperwork, administrative costs, certain certifications of owners and employees, and registration fees. These are always designed to benefit the state coffers, and cost consumers more through increased prices for goods and services.
The New Jersey State Commission of Investigation’s 51-page report about shoddy and deficient construction practices called “The good, The Bad and the Ugly” has spawned a bill (A1355) that would seriously limit self-repairs by owners. The bill limits what a homeowner can do with his property, and limits that owner to the property they reside in. Also included is a clause that any unlicensed tradesman working for the homeowner under their supervision must have FICA and withholding tax deducted from his pay.
Other provisions attempt to remedy improper installations, shoddy materials and work, and insure that all contractors on the job are licensed, with increased penalties for non-compliance. Building code inspectors, paid by the state and municipalities, did not do their jobs adequately and therefore New Jersey homeowners now have the responsibility of added costs and compliance. This bill also targets most of the building trades, and associated services such as pool and spa service, and heating and cooling service.
Other bills target various service and retail businesses imposing newer and higher fees and regulations. Included are Jewelers (A3337), Health and fitness clubs (S2164), recently passed Landscape Architects (P.L.2008, c.77), and Barbers (S1240). All with one or more requirements including background checks, educational requirements with continuing education a requirement, and of course the fees for applications and maintaining the license-all passed on to the consumer.
These bills, among others now being considered, make the state a major partner in that it attempts to run the show and take a cut of the proceeds to fuel government growth. Businesses are being relegated to do more paperwork and comply with additional mandates. Rules and laws are becoming so complicated that compliance creates paranoia for businesses that they are not following the ‘letter of the law’. In effect, the state is eroding the reasons people open and continue businesses such as monetary, independence, and self-fulfillment.