How New 2018 Laws Could Affect the Hills Community

By Caitlyn Parkes

Photo by Caitlyn Parkes.

Photo by Caitlyn Parkes.

Caitlyn Parkes

Along with the hope for a year better year, 2018 has brought with it new laws that may affect New Jersey citizens, and more specifically the Hills community. Looking for a job, learning to drive, considering transferring to a private school, or even just going shopping, these new laws can easily affect these experiences.

The government has established a new set of laws for this new year that could essentially help many people with money problems. Along with these acts, there are also a couple that are simply good to know about.

For one, sales taxes have been reduced. The known 7% sales tax when shopping has been reduced further, to almost 6.5%. Though this does not seem like much, when going on a big shopping spree or even just purchasing a few items at the mall with friends, students can save a few extra dollars.

Another thing, the minimum wage in NJ has risen by 16 cents. Though this may not seen like a lot, this could potentially mean more money saved for college for working students. Every dollar counts and this new law can help to earn some extra money.

In addition to the already packed-full Driver’s Ed class curriculum, there may be a new addition coming this way. A new law may require students to be taught about the poisoning effect of carbon monoxide before being able to acquire their licenses.

Along with the other driving-related law, another good-to-know change is in the works.  Not that this law will have too much of an effect on anyone, but now driver’s licenses will expire every four years on the driver’s birthday.  

For any students considering transferring to a private school next year or anyone with a relative that may go to a more costly school, a helpful law will be in effect this year. 529s are tax-free bank accounts—meaning that taxes can not be taken out of them for any reason—that could previously only be used to save for college. However, now these accounts will be able to used to pay for any private school tuitions.

Many thought that 2017 was not such a great year, hopefully 2018 can be better. These new laws will in no way change the outcome of anyone’s individual year of course, but they are a positive sign of a step in the right direction. Simmie Brisman, Hills freshman, said, “Going shopping this year will be just a little bit cheaper, now I’ll get more stuff.”