On March 1st, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the nation’s first state-wide commuter benefits ordinance. This law, passed with bi-partisan support by the New Jersey Legislature, establishes a transit benefit ordinance that requires employers to offer pre-tax transportation benefits. New Jersey now joins San Francisco, the nine-county SF Bay Area, New York City, Washington DC and most recently Seattle that have enacted similar laws. The ordinance applies to all New Jersey employers with 20 or more employees.
The Coalition for Smarter Transportation is working with municipal governments around the nation to pass similar policies. Reports from San Francisco find that the policy has had a significant impact on reducing single occupancy commutes in addition to the Federal tax savings it offers to both employers and employees.
Coast Policy Director Jason Pavluchuk had the following to say. “The Coalition for Smarter Transportation wants to congratulate Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature for making such a smart policy decision. The effort was led by Primary sponsors of the bill include Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Assembly members Daniel Benson, Thomas Giblin, and Anthony Bucco.”
CoaST wants to especially thank the primary sponsors of the bill Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Assembly members Daniel Benson, Thomas Giblin, and Anthony Bucco and their staff for spearheading this effort.
Further, Pavluchuk noted “transit benefits are a win-win for employers, commuters and local government. This policy will increase transit ridership, reduce congestion and improve air quality while also providing employers payroll tax benefits.”
CoaST is working to implement similar policies across the nation and we hope that other cities and states will be inspired by New Jersey’s action. The law will now transition to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce which is charged with developing rules and regulations for the administration and enforcement of the law. As per the law’s language, it will take effect 365 days from the governor’s signing.
CoaST has developed a toolkit complete with reports, fact sheets, and other information for cities and stakeholders to use which can be found at http://www.smartertransportation.org/state-local-policies/transportation-fringe-benefits-ordinance-information-active-campaigns/.
On Tuesday, March 26th at 2:00EDT – CoaST will host a webinar on Transportation Benefit Ordinances and how your city/state can enact one.