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New Law Changes Coming to South Carolina in 2020

As an informed resident of South Carolina, you want to stay up-to-date on all the state’s newest laws and amendments. Unfortunately, that information isn’t always as easily accessible as it should be – especially when the law changes only affect certain groups or small sections of the state, rather than the entire state. That’s why those at Solomon Law Group will handle the research for you.

In 2019, Governor Henry McMaster signed more than 100 bills into law. While the majority went into effect that year, some do not start until January 1, 2020. We make sure to learn about the newest laws, so we can provide our clients with the best representation possible. Let’s start off the year by taking a look at the new law changes coming to South Carolina in 2020.

Proposed Vaping Laws

Proposed changes to vaping laws are being introduced in South Carolina by Representative Wendel Gilliard. The current proposal prohibits the sale of vape products statewide. This means it would make it illegal to sell, distribute, transfer, or possess vapor products in the state. If this bill passes, anyone in violation would face a fine of $200 to $300. Subsequent offenses would incur fines between $300 and $400, in addition to up to 30 days in jail.

This proposal popped up after a string of vaping-related illnesses around the country. The outbreak, which began around March 2019, included symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. In some cases, the symptoms elevated to fatal levels.

Requirements for Boat Owners

Beginning January 1, 2020, the Department of Natural Resources is beginning a three-year plan of implementing new regulations for boat owners. Ultimately, the new law requires boat owners to register their boats annually, as opposed to every three years. Overall, the boat registration system will work similarly to the state’s system for motor vehicles. The registration will cost $10 per year. The permits are valid from January 1 to December 31 and application renewals must be received by December 15.

Additionally, when a boat owner goes to pay their property taxes and registration renewal for the following year, the county where the boat is registered must notify the Department of Natural Resources. They will then issue a new set of yearly registration numbers for the boat. This will hopefully clear up any confusion regarding tax payments.

These new requirements for boat owners will not only ensure the state has an accurate record of who owns maritime vehicles, but it also increases the owner’s responsibility. In the event of a boating accident, the Department of Natural Resources will be able to determine who’s legally responsible for the vehicles involved, regardless of who was operating them.

Gas Tax Refund

Courtesy of the state’s 2017 gas tax law, residents will be able to get a portion of the money they spend on gas the past year when they file their 2019 state income taxes. While the average savings last year was a little more than $24 per return, taxpayers can claim a credit for up to two qualifying cars. This was put into place when state lawmakers agreed to raise the gas tax by two cents every July through 2022.

Online System for Accessing Tax Liens

Section 12-54-122, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, was amended in July 2019 to create an online system for filing and storing tax liens. The new system is expected to make it easier to find out if someone has a lien filed against them in South Carolina’s 46 counties. Previously, individuals looking for lien information had to check with each county. While this was made effective last year, the online system isn’t expected to be operational until January 2020 or later.

Let us know if you have questions about the law changes discussed above. It’s important to understand your legal rights and responsibilities, and we’re here to explain them to you. We’re also here to help victims of accidents recover financially. When a negligent person or entity makes a decision that results in you being injured and sustaining economic losses, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. Solomon Law Group represents accident victims in a number of areas, so contacting us to discuss your options is in your best interests.

When you work with our law firm, we’ll provide you with the legal representation you need to get the compensation you deserve. Successful representation involves, among many things, understanding the applicable state laws that could impact your case. To learn more, contact us today.

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