RALEIGH — As folks rang in the New Year with noise makers, horns and ball drops, new laws were quietly coming into effect across the state with little fanfare.
Some of the more notable new laws include changes to tax laws among other things. According to the N.C. General Assembly website, folks can expect to see changes in both the individual and business tax codes. The changes are also expected to bring about a simplification of the North Carolina tax code.
According to reports, Gov. Pat McCrory says the new tax law changes will stimulate North Carolina’s ailing economy and allow folks to keep more of their paycheck, but critics argue it will have the opposite effect.
Some of the other newly approved laws allow:
— Jurors who serve on a grand jury will not have to serve again on a grand jury or as a juror for six years.
— Owners of electric vehicles that are required to be plugged in will have to pay a $100 registration fee in addition to all other fees, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.
— Health care facilities that perform mammograms for women will now be required to report the breast tissue density to their patients.
— A new law allows emergency workers to break into a car if an animal inside is deemed to be in danger or suffering. This law also carries provisions for finding lost pets and relieving overcrowding at local animal shelters as well as animal adoption services.
— Fees for many hunting and fishing licenses will increase.
— According to reports, the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act takes place in 2014. This provision requires most individuals and their dependents to have insurance by 2014 or face paying a penalty. To avoid the penalty, folks need to have enrolled in some type of health care coverage by March 2014. According to reports, the penalty will be assessed beginning in 2015 when folks file their income taxes for 2014.
— In 2014, folks wishing to cast an absentee ballot must make a written request on a form generated by the State Board of Elections, according to WRAL.
— According to reports, starting in 2014, there will be no more straight ticket voting. In the past, straight ticket voting did not select candidates for president or nonpartisan candidates such as judges, according to WRAL.
— The N. C. Tax Reduction Act will take effect. This act reduces individual and business taxes and simplifies the N.C. tax structure.