The North Carolina General Assembly passed a slew of laws months ago, and while most provisions have gone into effect, a few do not kickstart until Jan 1, 2023.
These include laws that affect people’s pocketbooks and others on online theft, fingerprint check requirements for law enforcement and more. Here is the full rundown of laws that take effect with the new year.
Senate Bill 105: “2021 Appropriations Act”
This is the 2021 state budget, signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper. While many provisions are already effective, some were not set to become law until Jan. 1, 2023, including the following.
- A reduction in North Carolina’s individual income tax rate. The state’s income tax is a flat rate, meaning that everyone, regardless of income, pays the same yearly rate. That rate will continue decreasing yearly from the current 4.99%. In 2023, it’ll be 4.75%. By 2027, it’ll be 3.99%.
- Several changes to business taxes. Among them: A franchise tax requirement for corporations was simplified to look solely at a calculation called apportioned net worth. Previously, taxes were levied based on which one of three methods produced the highest tax: appraising a corporation’s real and tangible personal property in the state, appraising its investments in tangible property in the state, or appraising its apportioned net worth. Not affected this year: North Carolina’s 2.50% corporate income tax rate, one of the lowest in the nation. This tax won’t drop again until 2025, reaching 0% after 2029.
- The budget created the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction, which takes over responsibilities for the prison and probation systems from the state’s Department of Public Safety. Several legal changes related to the new department take effect Jan. 1.
A new law placing restrictions on declaration of states of emergency by the governor takes effect, as previously reported by The News & Observer.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal must inform every fire department under its regulation of new reporting requirements for firefighting foam — specifically, for aqueous film-forming foams — because of concerns that it can contain hazardous “forever chemicals.” Additionally, the North Carolina Collaboratory — which was established by the General Assembly a few years ago to conduct scientific research to inform policy-making — the fire marshal’s office, and others must develop and maintain, and have online and operational by Jan. 1, an online reporting tool and database that tracks storage and use of AFFF.
The state created a pilot program, which will end June 30, to provide cancer health care benefits for eligible employed and volunteer firefighters. On Jan. 1 and July 1, the North Carolina fire department must report information on claims filed, types of cancer the claims were filed for, benefits paid out and more.
New judge seats, such as an additional district court judge in Brunswick County, become effective.
House Bill 334, “Budget Technical Corrections”
This law makes slight modifications to the budget, with most already having gone into effect.
Senate Bill 300: “Criminal Justice Reform”
This law has many pieces, many of which already went into effect, including the creation of a public statewide database that tracks all revocations and suspensions of law enforcement officer certifications, as well as a database that tracks incidents of use of force by law enforcement that result in death or serious bodily injury.
Starting Jan. 1, people being certified as law enforcement officers or applying for certification must have their fingerprints electronically submitted to the State Bureau of Investigation. The SBI must request the fingerprints of officers and applicants from their employers, then run state and federal criminal history checks and provide the results to the commissions in charge of regulating the training and certification of sheriffs’ deputies and other law enforcement officers. If an applicant withdraws or an officer leaves the job, the fingerprint records must be removed.
House Bill 476: “Judges in Stanly/Montgomery Counties”
This law requires one judge to live in Montgomery County, and two others to be from Stanly County, for District Court 20A elections, which encompass the two counties.
House Bill 83: “Revenue Laws Technical, Clarifying & Administrative Changes”
Among other tax changes for 2023, in the case of failure to pay any tax when due, the law changes a 10% late payment penalty to 5%. In 2024, the rate becomes 2% for each month, or part of a month, that the payment is late.
Senate Bill 766: “Organized Retail Theft”
This bill increased penalties for organized retail theft groups and the criminals who run them, as well as additional recoveries for retailers that suffer losses. Effective Jan. 1, online marketplaces must collect and maintain identifying information — such as bank account numbers and contact identification — for high-volume sellers. And sellers that make more than $20,000 per year posting on online marketplaces must also disclose certain information to consumers. Failure to comply results in suspension, and the attorney general may also take further action for violations.
Senate Bill 388: “Qualifying Farmer Zoo Sales Tax Exemption”
House Bill 607: “Various Court Changes”
Senate Bill 265: “Bond Info Transparency/ Local Government Commission Toolkit II”
House Bill 560: “Public Safety Reform”
Among other changes related to the new correction department, probation officers may be assigned additional duties, not including arrest powers, during a declared state of emergency or natural disaster, and inmates working for Correction Enterprises will be paid a maximum of $5 per day.
Senate Bill 424: “Private Protective Services Licensing Modifications”
House Bill 792: “Barbers/Electrolysis Boards/Merger”
- This law merged the State Board of Barber Examiners and the Board of Electrolysis Examiners into the North Carolina Board of Barber and Electrolysis Examiners, with the new appointees starting their terms on Jan. 1.
For more North Carolina government and politics news, subscribe to the Under the Dome politics newsletter from The News & Observer and the NC Insider and follow our weekly Under the Dome podcast at campsite.bio/underthedome or wherever you get your podcasts.