New Year Ushers In New NC Laws

A number of laws adopted by the NC General Assembly took effect on New Year’s Day.

About 20 new laws are on the books for the first time in 2016.

2016-File-Image-FIAmong them is a new Election Reform law, adopted during the 2013-14 session, requiring voters to provide a photo ID before voting.  Another election-related law requires a candidate in a primary to be affiliated with the party for at least 90 days.  Candidates will not be required to file economic statements with the Ethics Commission instead of the elections board.

If you buy property after January 1st, the owners of the property must provide complete disclosures of mineral, oil and gas rights.

Criminal background checks are now required for all EMS and firefighters across the state, even if they serve as volunteers.

Anyone placed on probation or sentenced for drunk driving will be confined in a local county jail instead of state prison.

The corporate income tax rate has been reduced for2016.  Standard deductions for state income tax filers increases in 2016.

The state gasoline tax drops by a penny to 35 cents per gallon on Jan. 1st. It will drop another penny, to 34 cents, on July 1st.  

The DMV will increase fees they charge for car titles, license plate renewals and driver’s licenses by an average of 30 percent. For example, a car title will increase from $40 to $52.  

The NC Department of Commerce can provide grants for the film and entertainment industry but only if the production company meets minimum qualification standards. For example, a TV show must have at least $250,000 in expenses to obtain a grant, $200,000 for a commercial, or $5 million for a film.      

A new revenge porn law takes effect prohibiting distribution of nude images, without the person’s consent, and with the intent to cause harm.

The electronic cigarette industry must now package all nicotine liquid used in their products in child resistant packages. 

Penalties are also increased for those who abuse a resident at a group home and those convicted of spray painting or defacing buildings, tombstones, or public statutes, known as the “graffiti vandalism” law.