Depending on what state you live, work, or operate in, some of these new laws could affect certain companies, and even individuals.
- New or higher registration taxes and fees went into effect January 1st for electric vehicle owners in at least eight states, including Alabama, Hawaii, and Kansas. More states are expected to follow this trend to recoup lost tax revenue from gasoline sales. Currently plug-in and hybrid cars only account for 2% of all vehicles owned, but experts expect the trend towards electric cars to gain momentum in 2020.
- 21 states increased their minimum wage (ex: On January 1, 2020 the New Mexico Minimum Wage increased to $9.00 an hour, while the State tipped minimum wage: $2.35 per hour). Several states moved to a higher minimum wage with typically at $12 per hour or higher.
- 11 states now have legalized recreational marijuana for adults with Illinois being the latest to embrace the tax revenues associated with legalization. U.S. tobacco law changed as 21 is now the minimum age for purchasing any tobacco products. This law also applies to vaping products.
- California adopted more stringent privacy laws. Companies operating in CA will be required to tell consumers, upon request, what personal data the company collects, why, how it is used, and with whom it is shared. Consumers can require that CA companies do not share their personal data or to delete it from their systems.
- In Colorado, a new “red flag law” will allow family members and law enforcement to request guns be seized from people who are ultimately deemed to be a threat to themselves or to others. The seizure can last up to a year, and the burden of proof is on the gun owner to have it revoked.
- Protecting tax reductions: Texas Homeowners get some other new help with the New Year. Anyone who successfully protests their home value should not see their value increased to the previous level the next year unless appraisers can present “clear and convincing evidence” that the increase is merited.
- Late mortgage payments: Texas Homeowners with mortgages set up so the lender pays the tax bill every year can still be held liable if the bill isn’t paid on time. They could face costly penalties and interest if the mortgage lender, typically a bank, makes a mistake. HB 1885 lets interest and penalties be waived for homeowners in some cases when the bank holding the mortgage didn’t pay the tax bill on time.