In New York, many new laws went into effect after the ball dropped on midnight on January 1, 2018. New Yorkers will see modest tax cuts, minimum wage increases, new work benefits, and even restrictions on snowmobiles.
The following is a closer look at some of New York’s new laws in 2018:
- Middle-Class Tax Cut – The middle-class tax cut that the Senate Republican Conference fought for in 2016 took effect on the first of January of this year. In the first year, 4.4 million New Yorkers will benefit from the tax cut. When fully phased in, these tax cuts will save New York residents $4.2 billion annually.
- Child and Dependent Care Credit – Expands the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for taxpayers with incomes between $50,000 and $150,000 and also expands the current cap on child care expenses from $6,000 to $9,000—depending on the number of children—for families with up to five children.
- Year Three of the Property Tax Relief Credit – In 2015, the Senate established the Property Tax Relief Credit. Over a four-year period, STAR-eligible homeowners with incomes of $275,000 or less and who reside in property tax cap-compliant school districts will receive more than $3.1 billion in rebates. Since this is the program’s third year, eligible homeowners will receive an average statewide rebate check of $380. Eligible residents in lower income brackets will continue to receive greater rebates in comparison to residents in higher income brackets.
- Workers’ Compensation Reform – Updates the current permanency impairment guidelines to increase the savings to the workers’ comp system, reducing rates for private and public employers.
- Minimum Wage Increase – The minimum wage in New York increases as of December 31, 2017, which is the second consecutive year of a wage hike that will be phased in through 2021. In New York City, large employers with 11 or more employees will be required to pay a minimum wage of $13 per hour, up from $11 in 2017. In New York City, small employers with 10 employees or less will be required to pay a minimum wage of $12, up from $10.50 in 2017. In Upstate New York and areas outside of New York City and its suburbs, the minimum wage will increase from $9.70 per hour to $10.40 per hour. In Long Island and Westchester County, the minimum wage will increase from $10 to $11 per hour.
- Paid Family Leave – This will allow working New Yorkers to spend time with a sick family member or bond with a new child, providing eight weeks of paid leave funded through employee payroll deductions.
- Pension Forfeiture of Public Officers – The court can now reduce or revoke the public pension of an officer who was convicted of a felony that is related to the performance of the officer’s existing duties. Before, these pensions could not be reduced.
- Snowmobile Rules – State law will now require snowmobiles to be equipped with motors originally manufactured for travel on snow and ice, as well as authorize tracked cleats, skis, and belts for support. Another law increases penalties for operating an unregistered snowmobile, failing to renew a snowmobile registration, or improperly displaying a snowmobile registration number to a minimum of $200.
- Firearm Permits – New York pistol owners are required to recertify pistol permits five years after the license was issued as part of the SAFE Act. Any New Yorker with a pistol permit issued before January 15, 2013, will be required to recertify the permit before January 31, 2018. Those who fail to recertify will have their permits revoked.
- Epinephrine Auto-Injectors – This law authorizes some employees or contractors in public and private schools in New York to administer epinephrine auto-injectors to students in case of a health emergency. The law applies to public school districts, county vocational schools, secondary schools, non-public elementary schools, and charter schools in New York.
- Runaway and Homeless Youth Program – Provides increased flexibility to programs that are related to those type of services. Furthermore, it expands the duration that services can be provided and the age of the youth who can be served in these homeless youth programs.
- Seatbelt Requirements in Taxi and Livery Vehicles – The operator of a taxi or livery vehicle must be restrained by a seatbelt. Additionally, every front seat passenger in such vehicle must be restrained by a seatbelt.