Happy New Year, VA! Today we're sharing some of the new laws that started this year on January 1, 2023. Scroll below to see some of the laws that are now in effect and more ➡️
📣 Share with friends and family to keep them up to date on the lates laws and changes in our state.
Consumer Data: The Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act, SB 1392, takes effect in January. The law regulates businesses that control, process or sometimes sell large quantities of consumer data, and gives consumers rights to see their data, correct it, get a copy of it, and opt out of businesses using their data for targeted advertising. The law does not allow consumers to bring lawsuits against tech firms over the handling of their personal information.
Grocery Tax: The sales tax rate on groceries will decrease from 2.5% to 1%. Virginia is joining the vast majority of states and getting rid of the grocery tax. This goes for most staple grocery items, but does not include alcohol, tobacco or prepared hot foods.
Also, the state of Virginia has a list of food services that won't be included in the tax reduction because they're considered to sell prepared foods. Those include the following:
Entertainment facilities (theme parks, stadiums, etc.)
Fair and carnival vendors
Hamburger and hot dog stands
Honor snack vendors
Ice cream stands and trucks
Mobile food vendors
Vending machine vendors
Local Plastic Bag Tax: Fairfax City, Charlottesville and Albemarle County will begin charging a 5-cent tax on each single-use plastic bag used by customers in retail establishments.
Minimum Wage Increase: The minimum wage will bump up to $12 per hour on Jan. 1, up from $11. The increase is dictated by legislation SB 7 passed in 2020 that pushes the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026. The next increase will come in January 2025, when wages will jump to $13.50 per hour.
New requirements for the Virginia Unemployment System: Following a host of problems with the Virginia Employment Commission — a backlog in unemployment claims during the pandemic and issues with identity theft — lawmakers passed legislation SB 769 to try to clean up the agency. Effective Jan. 1, the agency will be required to perform a number of federally-mandated and recommended “program integrity” actions, review claims that may be fraudulent, and take back overpayment of benefits as much as possible. The agency will have to report back on its progress every year on Dec. 1.
Notify parents of 'sexually explicit' content in Loudoun: Under policy 5055, Loudoun County public schools are required to provide parents proper notification when teaching materials will include "sexually explicit content," as mandated by state law.
Ranked-Choice Voting in Arlington: Voters will be able to select Arlington County Board candidates by using ranked-choice voting in the June 2023 primaries. The method allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference (first choice, second choice, etc.). If a candidate gets more than half of voters' first choices, they'll win, just like in any other election, but if there's no majority winner after counting first choices, the race is determined by an instant runoff.
Tax Deductions: This year’s state budget made some big changes to the Virginia tax code, and while most of those officially took effect over the summer, some taxpayers will first see the impact when they do their 2022 individual tax returns early next year.
The state standard income tax deduction is now nearly double what it was.
Low-income filers can receive a refund if their state earned income tax credit exceeds the amount they paid in taxes.
And deductions for military retirement income increased.
Dealing with the Death or Disability of a Real Estate Broker: Upon the death or disability of a licensed real estate broker who was engaged in a proprietorship or who was the only licensed broker in a business entity, the Real Estate Board shall grant approval to carry on the business of the deceased or disabled broker for 180 days following the death or disability of the broker solely for the purpose of concluding the business of the deceased or disabled broker in the following order.
Required Human Trafficking Training: Every hotel proprietor will require its employees to complete a training course on recognizing and reporting instances of suspected human trafficking. The training course will be online and provided by the Department of Criminal Justice Services at no cost to the hotel proprietor and its employees pursuant to § 9.1-102 or an alternative online or in-person training course approved by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. The Department of Criminal Justice Services will approve or disapprove of the use of any alternative online or in-person training course within 60 days of the submission of such training course for approval.
Other laws: A wide variety of other laws also kick in on Jan. 1, including;
Loosening restrictions on where opioid-related behavioral health providers can be located.
Sources used in today’s post: