Typically, when a bill is passed in the state legislature, if it does not have an emergency clause, it will take effect 90 days after we adjourn. But there are occasions when a specific date is written into the bill. This year, we passed several bills that will take effect January 1, 2020. These impact everything from auto insurance to tax brackets.
Here are several pieces of legislation going into effect at the beginning of the year:
ACT 182 reduces the top income tax rate from 6.9% to 6.6%. This will lower again to 5.9% in 2021.
ACT 869 requires the implementation of the online insurance verification system by January 1, 2020. In a routine traffic stop, the new online verification system allows the officer to confirm in real time whether the vehicle is insured. Under the current system, the insurance data accessed by the officer may be up to 30 days old.
ACT 774 requires the Department of Finance and Administration to provide space on individual income tax forms for a taxpayer to designate more than one account for the direct deposit of the taxpayer’s refund beginning with returns filed for tax year January 1, 2020.
ACT 1063 provides that a tow facility may tow heavy-duty motor vehicles as part of a law enforcement program if the tow facility is licensed by the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board, passes safety inspections, and complies with state and federal laws.
ACT 564 requires the annual publication of the county budget and the annual financial report of the county.
ACT 653 prohibits state funding of human cloning and destructive embryo research.
ACT 1021 establishes the process for governing directed trusts and clarifies the applicability, principal place of administration, excluded powers, limitations, defenses, and duties and liability of trust directors and directed trustees.
ACT 866 prohibits a business that is subject to a business closure order by the Department of Finance and Administration from contracting or doing business with the state.
ACT 822 extends the net operating loss carry-forward period to eight years for losses occurring in the tax year starting Jan. 1, 2020.
ACT 988 amends the law concerning the reemployment of certain retired members of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System. The act applies to a member of the system who on or after January 1, 2020, elects to participate in the Local Police and Fire Deferred Retirement Option Plan, retires from the system as a participant in the Local Police and Fire Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or retires from the system.
You can find a complete summary of all the legislation passed in 2019 here.