The end of another year is upon us, and it seems like 2018 came and went. 2018 brought a lot of changes including some new laws, some interesting legislative bills that may become laws, and some hot legal topics. Let’s recap for a moment:
- In January 2019, New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase to $8.85, a 25-cent increase from this year’s $8.60 hourly rate.
- A much-anticipated but controversial bill seeking to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 an hour was introduced on December 6, 2018.
- In November 2018 state lawmakers advanced a bill that would legalize the possession and personal use of recreational marijuana.
- On May 2, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act, which took effect October 29, 2018. The Act, which applies to nearly all employers and employees in the Garden State, guarantees that almost every person employed in New Jersey will accrue paid sick leave.
- New legislation signed into law on July 1, 2018, made several changes to the New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act at N.J.S.A. 54A:1-1 et seq. as part of New Jersey’s fiscal year 2019 budget. The changes include increases in the New Jersey Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the property tax deduction, and the addition of a new Child and Dependent Care Credit for resident taxpayers.
- The state’s controversial estate tax died in 2018. Lawmakers voted to phase out the estate tax in 2016 as part of a deal to raise the tax on gasoline to fund transportation projects in New Jersey. The exemption for estates increased from $675,000 to $2 million at the start of 2017. Now, it’s off the books. Note that the state still has an inheritance tax charged to non-lineal descendants who inherit property or money after someone’s death.
- Thanks to the tax law passed by Congress and signed into law by the President in late 2017, we have a significant change coming to our law regarding alimony. Prior to the law change, any payment that met the legal guideline of alimony could be deducted by the payor on a pre-tax basis, and the receiver of alimony would have to claim the payment as taxable income. Under the new law, any divorce judgment entered after January 1, 2019, in which alimony is payable, shall no longer be tax deductible to the payor and shall no longer be taxable to the payee.
It is important to understand that the above is only general information. The law is extremely fact and circumstance sensitive. For an individual legal analysis of your specific legal case, you should always consult with an attorney.
We hope that you have enjoyed this post and learned at least one new thing or tip that you may not have known.
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