New state laws in effect as of July 1

By Ann Mah

Most of the laws passed in the 2015 legislative session went into effect July 1. Here are some that might be of interest to you:

The state sales tax goes up to 6.5 percent. You have to add your local tax to that to get the total. Retailers have 30 days to implement the tax, so you might not notice right away. If you were thinking of buying your car in Missouri to avoid the increase, that won’t work. They will collect it here when you get your car tags. Also, Kansas now has the highest tax on food in the nation.

You can now concealed carry whether you have a license or training or not. Universities still have a two-year exemption.

If you itemize your state income tax, you might want to visit with your accountant. Nearly all of your previous exemptions are cut or eliminated. And that is retroactive back to January 1, so it will impact the filing you make for 2015.

If you owe back state taxes, you might be getting a letter this fall regarding the tax amnesty program from September to October.

The tax on cigarettes went up by 50 cents.

You can now legally bet on one-day fantasy sports leagues!

You can BYOB to any business that will let you. No powdered alcohol, though. Liquor stores can also do limited sampling.

If you’ve been raising any cervids (members of the deer/elk/moose family), check out the new rules on moving them on and off your property.

Drunk driving penalties are increased, and it’s harder to expunge your driving record of these kinds of charges. Just more good reasons not to drink and drive.

Most charities can now sell raffle tickets without breaking the law.

Disabled vets can now park for free in public parking lots.

State employees can now be changed from classified to unclassified in most agencies and hired and fired at will.

Ann Mah is a former state representative who still keeps an eye on the Kansas Legislature. She shares her observations in an email newsletter called Neighborhood News.

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