October New Laws

Posted on October 8, 2019 by admin


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Friends and Neighbors,

Please note that this is provided as information, and inclusion in this message does not indicate my support or opposition to an individual measure.

Beginning on October 1st, a number of new laws took effect. Many of these new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. I therefore encourage you to take a look at the full list of laws that can be found by clicking here.

An Act Prohibiting the Sale of Cigarettes, Tobacco Products, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products to Persons Under the Age of Twenty-one.
Public Act No. 19-13
Raises, from 18 to 21, the legal age to purchase cigarettes, other tobacco products, and e-cigarettes, and increases fines for those persons or businesses who sell to anyone under the legal age.

An Act Expanding Eligibility for Tax Relief for Certain Elderly Homeowners.
Public Act No. 19-66
Expands the state’s “Circuit Breaker Program”(Elderly and Disabled Homeowners’ Tax Relief Program) which entitles older adults and individuals with a permanent and total disability to a property tax reduction, to now include owners of real property that is held in trust for the owner. Prior law was silent regarding such trusts.

An Act Increasing the Penalties for the Sale of Fentanyl.
Public Act No. 19-38
Expressly codifies the classification of fentanyl (a synthetic opioid analgesic) as a narcotic substance. By law, the penalties for certain illegal actions involving narcotics are higher than those for certain other non-narcotic controlled substances.

An Act Addressing Opioid Use.
Public Act No. 19-191 (See Sec. 1-2, 4-6, 9-11)
Requires pharmacists to offer consultations to all patients when dispensing a prescription. Also requires prescribing practitioners who prescribe an opioid drug with more than a 12-week supply to establish a treatment agreement with the patient or discuss a care plan for chronic opioid drug use, among other changes.

An Act Concerning School Security.
Public Act No. 19-52 (See Sec. 3)
Requires DESPP to develop criteria to identify qualified school security consultants operating in the state and limit its existing school security consultant’s registry to include only these qualified individuals. By law, DESPP must update this registry annually, make it available to the public upon request, and publish it on the department’s website.

New legislation typically goes into effect on January 1st, July 1st, or October 1st in a calendar year, although a few laws go into effect immediately upon passage.

-New Taxes-

Digital Goods – The current tax on digital goods of 1% will increase to 6.35%. This increase applies to a myriad of online services, including, but not limited to, TV streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Hulu), online music (e.g. Spotify, Apple Music), eBooks, and in-app purchases made on smartphones.​​​

With an increased percentage of residents streaming and downloading their content (e.g. music, movies, smartphone apps, etc.), as opposed to watching on traditional cable television or listening on the radio, Democrats and the governor hiked taxes on digital consumers. This is an effort to capture a new revenue stream as people flee cable for lower cost options.

Prepared FoodsConsumers will see a 7.35% levy on certain prepared foods. On September 19th, the Department of Revenue Services released a revised bulletin backing off their unexpected interpretation of what items were to be affect by this tax increase. But, despite what Governor Lamont and legislative Democrats say, many food items we buy from grocery stores are still at risk of being taxed. The only way to protect consumers from being hit with this regressive tax is to call a special session and remove the part of the law that taxes groceries, which Democrats have refused to do.

Motor Vehicle Trade-In Fee – The current motor vehicle trade-in fee of $35 will increase to $100. Instead of being rewarded for trading in their old cars for new, more efficient vehicles, car buyers are being punished with a tax increase. This tax hurts not only families looking to upgrade their cars but also businesses that rely on fleets of vehicles to facilitate their everyday operations.

Alcohol – The excise tax on all alcohol sales, except beer, will increase by 10%. This significant increase will be felt by package stores small and large, as well as consumers looking to make alcohol purchases for family gatherings and events.

Thank you,

Tim Ackert