Here are some measures that take effect in New York State on New Years Day.
new sales tax exemption designed to encourage solar energy use and a
law to provide new protections for domestic violence victims highlight
the list of new state laws that take effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
measures that take effect on New Years Day include laws that help craft
brewers distribute their products, prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to
minors, and authorize new ways for colleges to provide health insurance
for students.SOLAR ENERGY SALES TAX EXEMPTION
A new law taking effect on Jan. 1 (Chapter 406, S3203B
Senator Maziarz) exempts the sale and installation of commercial solar
energy systems equipment from state sales tax and compensating use
taxes. Under the new law, municipalities will also have the authority to
provide this exemption from local sales and use taxes.
energy system installation can already be extremely costly for
businesses, but the additional state sales tax and compensating use tax
on top of that make local businesses hesitant to use this energy
source,” Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane), Chairman of the Senate
Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, said. “If we are to achieve
the goal of 45 percent of New York State's electricity needs through
clean renewable energy and improved energy efficiency by 2015, then we
must provide incentives to encourage businesses to install solar energy
systems just as we have done with homeowners. Eliminating all state
sales taxes and providing local municipalities an option to eliminate
their portion as well will encourage more commercial solar installations
and will hopefully create more jobs for New Yorkers to help with the
installation process.”DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTIONS
Part of the new domestic violence reform law, designed to protect victims’ health care and insurance information, (Chapter 491, S7638
takes effect on January 1, 2012. The landmark law, sponsored by
Senator Steve Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), Chairman of the Senate Codes
Committee includes several important provisions to protect victims of
domestic violence and establish stronger criminal penalties to punish
individuals who commit acts of domestic violence.
of the first of the year, victims of domestic violence who seek medical
and/or mental health services and use their health insurance to pay for
that care, can designate alternative contact information so they may
receive health insurance correspondence in a safe location of their own
choosing, such as the home of a friend or family member, a post office
box, or a shelter.
law already bars disclosure of an address and phone number when an
order of protection is in place,” Senator Saland said. “This law
greatly expands the information to be protected by ensuring that a
victims’ health insurance information is not sent to the same address as
the alleged abuser, thus affording more protection domestic violence
victims.”DISTRIBUTION OF BEER PRODUCED BY SMALL, INDEPENDENT BREWERS
This new law (Chapter 367, S1315
Senator Griffo) will give New York’s craft breweries, like the F.X.
Matt Brewing Company in Utica, the means to end unfavorable, exclusive
contracts with beer wholesalers.
1996, the Beer Franchise Law strengthened distributing contracts to
protect small, family-owned wholesalers from arbitrary termination by
large multinational breweries. Since then, the number of wholesalers has
dropped in New York State from 112 in 1996 to fewer than 60 today.
measure will help the growth of the state’s small independent breweries
by allowing them to end costly exclusive contracts with large
wholesalers that do not market or promote their brands without having to
undertake lengthy legal procedures that may not provide relief.
sponsored this legislation on behalf of the craft brewers in the
Central New York region, all of whom are important parts of our regional
economy,” Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-I, Rome) said. “During
difficult economic times, the State needs to stand by our small
businesses in order to grow our economy especially in the upstate
region. The growth of small brewers has been an exciting chapter in the
21st Century economy, and this new law is important to help it grow and
law defines small brewers as those who produce less than 300,000
barrels of beer annually, and whose sales to a wholesaler are three
percent or less of a multi-brand beer wholesaler’s annual business. BAN ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES FOR MINORS
A new law (Chapter 448, S2926B
, Senator Johnson) will prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to people under the age of 18 years of age.
law is needed to protect children and young adults from the dangers of
smoking electronic cigarettes, particularly given that they are
unregulated and have not been proven to be safe for use at any age,”
Senator Owen Johnson (R-C, Babylon) said.ALLOWING COLLEGES TO SELF-INSURE FOR STUDENT HEALTH CARE
This law (Chapter 246, S7314A
Senator Seward) will allow eligible private and public colleges and
universities in New York State to self-insure for their students’ health
insurance needs. An advantage to becoming self-insured is that the plan
can be designed to meet the needs of the students and can reduce
administrative costs, compared to basic, more expensive commercial
insurance plans. Most states in the country already allow private
colleges and universities to self-insure for their students' health
James L. Seward (R-C-I, Oneonta), Chair of the Senate Insurance
Committee, said, “As higher education costs rise, colleges and
universities are always looking for an edge to keep expenses down and
compete with out-of-state schools. Clearing the way for a
self-insurance plan will allow participating New York schools that take
part to tailor their own health insurance plans to meet the specific
needs of their student populations, while reducing administrative
costs.”The above information was listed on the New York State Senate website.