Posted on September 27, 2019 by admin
Please note that the material provided below is for informational purposes only and, unless otherwise noted, does not indicate my support for, or opposition to, a particular measure.
As we transition out of summer and into autumn, we prepare for a number of new laws and tax and fee increases to take effect starting on October 1st. These new laws and taxes may have an impact on you, your business, and our community.
In an effort to keep you informed, I have listed some of the more noteworthy tax increases and new laws going into effect next week. See below for more details:
Tax and Fee Increases Effective October 1st
These tax increases were included in the Democrats’ state budget passed this year, which my Republican colleagues and I adamantly opposed.
Digital Goods – The current tax on digital goods of 1% will increase to 6.35%. This increase applies to a wide range 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.
Prepared Foods – Consumers will see a 7.35% levy on certain prepared foods. Last week, the Department of Revenue Services released a revised bulletin after unexpectedly including thousands of previously untaxed grocery items in their initial interpretation of the law as stated. Importantly, these items, including basic necessities, remain at risk of becoming taxable. The only way to protect consumers from being impacted by this regressive tax is to call a special session and remove the part of the law that taxes groceries. My colleagues and I have petitioned and await further action from the Speaker of the House.
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.
New Laws Effective October 1st
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
Summary – 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
Summary – 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 Concerning the Property Tax Exemption for Service Members and Veterans Having Disability Ratings.
Summary – Increases the base property tax exemption for certain disabled service members and veterans by $500. By doing so, it also increases the additional income-based exemption for such service members and veterans by $250 or $1,000, depending on their income, and the local-option exemption that a municipality may provide to certain 100% disabled service members or veterans instead of the income-based exemption, by $1,500. Both of these exemption amounts are calculated using the base exemption.
An Act Increasing the Penalties for the Sale of Fentanyl.
Public Act No. 19-38
Summary – 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)
Summary – 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)
Summary – 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. For a complete list of new laws going into effect on October 1st, please click here.