January 1st marks the start of a new year; 2019. And with a new year comes new laws. In the 2018 legislative session lawmakers passed several bills that go into effect the first of the year.
For starters, South Carolinians with criminal records will start to see changes to what crimes are eligible for expungement.
The bill was originally vetoed by Governor Henry McMaster, but then overturned by lawmakers. Supporters of the law say the move will help the state’s economy.
“Our hope is that this is going to open up employment opportunities for people who have been closed out and for employers who have been trying to find applicants,” said Sue Berkowitz, the director of SC Appleseed Justice Center.
2019 will also be another year of expanded tax credits for low-income families following guidelines set by a bill passed in 2017
Another bill could benefit the wallet of South Carolina drivers, who have been paying an extra .02 at the pump to help pay for roads in the state.
But starting in 2019, drivers can claim that increase on their income taxes.
Bonnie Swingle with the SC Department of Revenue explained, “When taxpayers claim this they will have had to save their receipts throughout 2018 for their gas purchases or maintenance on their vehicles. Individuals can claim up to 2 vehicles or motorcycles on their returns.”
Another law requires Homeowners Associations to be more transparent, which includes recording the organizations policies and bylaws for residents. Those policies will have to recorded by January 10th.