Before I was Editor of PublicCEO, I was an independent contractor. As Editor of PublicCEO, I certainly work at and operate a very small business. And as it turns out, as both an independent contractor or as a small businessman trying to make ends meet, I am part of a growing and important segment of the California economy.
Dr. Philip Romero, a professor of Finance at the University of Oregon and former Chief Economist for the California Governor’s Office, released a new study on independent contractors on Tuesday. The study not only addressed the positive impact that independent contractors have on the California economy, but the study investigated the veracity of some of the common attacks on the use of contractors.
Having worked previously as a contractor, I know from personal experience that taxes are still paid and contributions are still made to municipal and state finances. The study, however, provided evidence that my experience wasn’t the exception; rather it tends to be the norm.
W-2 employees and W-9 contractors accurately report income for tax purposes at a virtually identical rate.
Additionally, when I served as a contractor, I chose to. Similarly, sole-proprietors and the self-employed often choose to strike at it alone as a way to control workload, schedule, pay, and potential.
To this day, I remain an available independent contractor. It isn’t that my work with PublicCEO or Prime Signs fails to provide me with a comfortable living wage. However, I know that my career experience and my modest abilities have a value on the market. Like many other contractors out there, the ability to work as a contractor presents my family and me the opportunity to earn extra money.
That isn’t just how I operate my personal finances. It’s also part of how PublicCEO operates. Stringers and other independent contractors provide this site with some of its content. Without their help – or the ability to use their services – PublicCEO would never have become such a relevant asset for local governments.
And as a tool, PublicCEO is continually relied upon as a contractor for local governments. In fact, each time you visit our Jobs Board, you are viewing the result of contracting by local governments. We routinely submit W-9 forms to our sponsors. Operating with contracted services remains, and will continue to remain, part of the PublicCEO business model.
Despite the positive impacts of contractors and contracting, there will remain interests seeking greater limits on contracting.
Last year, SB 459 was approved that increased the fines and penalties for misclassifying employees as independent contractors. This year, AB 2373 sought to create a multi-layer test of whether or not an individual is an employee or a contractor. The 17 parameters set forth in the legislation are at a minimum onerous, if not untenable.
From both a business and a personal standpoint, contractors are an important aspect to the economy, my business environment, and our state.