RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — With the new year comes a batch of new laws. While some may go by unnoticed, a few could will have more measurable impacts.
Income tax decrease
For tax year 2022, the North Carolina individual income tax rate was 4.99 percent. In 2023, that will drop to 4.75 percent. It won’t be the last drop in income tax rates. By 2026, the individual income tax rate is scheduled to drop to 3.99 percent.
The schedule for rate decreases was approved by law makers in the 2021 legislative session.
Fuel tax increase
Gas could cost you more in 2023. NC’s fuel tax is scheduled to increase from 38.5 cents to 40.5 cents per gallon. The North Carolina Department of Revenue reports that fuel tax increase is calculated by taking into account population change and inflation. The inspection tax will remain in the same at .0025 cents per gallon. The federal gas tax is currently 18.4 cents per gallon.
Criminal justice reform
While several parts of Senate Bill 300, a wide ranging criminal justice reform bill, have already gone into effect. One more portion of the North Carolina bill go into effect Jan. 1. The bill includes, increasing the punishment for ‘riot offenses’, and mandatory training for officers on topics ranging from mental health for officers, to implicit bias and duty to intervene and report in cases of excessive force.
Effective Jan. 1, law enforcement agencies will be required to conduct more intensive criminal background checks for people applying for positions in law enforcement. Agencies will be required to submit applications and fingerprints of the applicants to the State Bureau of Investigation for a statewide criminal history check. A national criminal background check must then be run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
By June 20, 2023, law enforcement agencies must submit fingerprints for all personnel for criminal background checks.
2022 new laws recap
2022 saw a string of new laws effective several months into the year. Some of those went into effect as late as Dec. 1.
Effective Dec. 1, North Carolina House Bill 674 expands the list of assault crimes that require a DNA sample if someone is convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity. The bill aims to not only help solve crimes but help prevent future assaults. Another portion of the bill that bars facilities from billing patients for sexual assault evidence kits and forensic testing went into effect in October.
While not written in 2022, a 20-week abortion ban came into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade. There are certain medical emergency exemptions. The law has been on the books since 1973 but was unenforceable because of protections allowed through Roe V. Wade.
With a national string of organized retail thefts, lawmakers passed North Carolina toughen laws through House Bill 1005. It is harsher on thieves and allows store owners to sue criminals
After the death of a seven-year-old in a vacation rental, lawmakers passed House Bill 619, also known as “Weston’s Law”. Weston died after falling into a gap between the elevator car and the elevator shaft. Under the bill, owners of short-term rentals must now have a professional elevator installer certify that the safety measures are in place.