Key Conservatives Back GOP Effort to Boost Gig Economy in Tax Reform

By NTK Staff | 11.09.2017 @2:01pm
Key Conservatives Back GOP Effort to Boost Gig Economy in Tax Reform

As the House and Senate move forward on tax reform this week, leading conservatives are urging Congress to incorporate legislation boosting the so-called “gig economy” into its tax reform legislation this year. In a letter to the House Ways & Means Committee this week, former Ohio Secretary of State and Family Research Council fellow Ken […]

As the House and Senate move forward on tax reform this week, leading conservatives are urging Congress to incorporate legislation boosting the so-called “gig economy” into its tax reform legislation this year.

In a letter to the House Ways & Means Committee this week, former Ohio Secretary of State and Family Research Council fellow Ken Blackwell, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, and Freedomworks President Adam Brandon urged Congress to “simplify and modernize our tax code to meet the need of service providers” in the “gig economy” by approving the NEW GIG Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) and the Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, Sen. John Thune (R-SD):

The NEW GIG Act would clarify the classification of freelance-style workers that serve client needs through apps provided by companies such as Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Grubhub, Postmates, Handy as well as traditional independent contractors such as computer consultants, freelance writers, and delivery drivers. …

The bill also makes it easier for independent contractors who work on these “on-demand economy” platforms to file their taxes. Our tax code should not hinder the increasing number of Americans that seek jobs as independent contractors to fit their lifestyle, schedule, and financial needs. … This addition to your legislation would incentivize more people to participate and succeed in these new jobs. There’s no cost to taxpayers, and it’s true reform.

The Tea Party Patriots Citizen Action Fund endorsed the effort earlier this week, stating:

Tax laws not only need to be reformed but they need to be updated to reflect today’s economy. More and more people are working multiple jobs as contractors because it fits their schedule, lifestyle and financial needs. They can spend their mornings doing graphics or web site design while driving for Uber or Lyft the rest of the day, and perhaps even do a third job in the evening. The reform proposed by Senator Thune and Congressman Rice would simplify the tax code for Gig Economy companies and their independent contractors, and therefore incentivize more people to participate and succeed in these new jobs. There’s no cost to taxpayers and it’s true reform.

In a Daily Caller op-ed published yesterday, Ken Blackwell called the bill “plain common sense”:

This is just plain common sense. The amendment reflects where our country’s economy is going and gives more workers more incentives and choices to find jobs, earn a living and – especially for younger people just starting out – it gives them a more flexibility and opportunities to find out what career path they want to pursue. …

So many Americans, especially young people, have become disillusioned with their government. This would be one effective way to prove to them that someone is listening and working to make their lives better and giving them more opportunity to succeed and prosper.

The Cato Institute’s Matt Feeney weighed in positively, saying that the growing gig economy faces challeenges from “outdated tax laws,” and that reform “would allow workers to engage in micro-entrepreneurship without worrying about running afoul of the IRS”:

The new and growing gig economy is an exciting new feature of modern life, but it has unfortunately run up against numerous challenges posed by outdated tax law. Tax reforms that account for the gig economy would allow for workers to engage in micro-entrepreneurship without worrying about running afoul of the IRS.

Popular conservative radio host and author Hugh Hewitt highlighted the bill this week as well:

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