Tax Day 2019 is April 15 and April 17
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New year brings notable state tax changes

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Most states tend to operate on fiscal years, with July 1 being an effective date for a lot of law change

State leaders, however, realize that their residents follow the Gregorian calendar, so they still make Jan. 1 the effective date for major revisions of law.

I was surfing the Web on New Year's Day — doesn't everybody?!? — and ran across some interesting state tax law changes that took effective with the arrival of 2019. Below is a look at what I found.

New Hampshire's business profits tax was cut by 2.5 percent, while the business enterprise tax went down 11 percent. Proponents of the reductions say they will help the Granite State's economy to keep moving in the right direction. If these changes prove popular and successful, expect legislative efforts for further legislative efforts in this tax area.

Real property owners in New Hampshire also will get some relief starting this year. Those who are tardy in making their property tax payments will face a lower interest rate on these late payments. And the property tax credit available for those with service-connected total disabilities is increased.

Rhode Island motorists now will get a warning if they owe back taxes that would prevent them from renewing a car registration.

Illinois taxpayers also are seeing property tax changes in 2019, specifically when it comes to three different property tax sales fees. The automation fee that a purchaser pays each year for subsequent taxes is expanded, the indemnity fee is set by the county collector is clarified and counties now can charge less than the current rate of $20 per item purchased.

Folks in the Land of Lincoln also will see a new income tax return checkoff offering on their returns, a contribution to the Hunger Relief Fund.

South Carolina residents now can get a tax credit for gas or car maintenance. Starting this year, Palmetto State drivers can submit receipts for gas purchases and vehicle maintenance to claim, using the state's new I-385 tax form, a tax credit. The credit should help offset some of the state's gas tax, which has been incrementally increasing since 2017 and will do so through 2022.

In addition, many low-income South Carolinians should see their state income tax bill shrink as 2019 marks the further phase-in of the state's enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit. It actually began last year, but on New Year's Day 2019 another boost of the tax credit took effect for families with at least two workers, with the annual earnings limit for eligibility now increased by another $3,333 a year.

More state tax changes: After spotting these 2019 state tax items on the internet, I then found even more such data collected by the Tax Foundation.

That curation of state tax changes that kicked in on Jan. 1 by the Washington, D.C.-based tax policy think tank earns this weekend's Saturday Shout Out, the first of 2019.

Tax Foundation Senior Policy Analyst Jared Walczak notes that while "there is less January 1st activity than we usually see, but this does not mean 2018 was a quiet year. Rather, state consideration of tax conformity after the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 moved many changes forward, with rate reductions and other adjustments adopted midyear made retroactive to the start of [that prior tax] year."

Walczak also says we shouldn't be lulled into state tax complacency by this year's relatively quiet Jan. 1 state tax status actions. In fact, he says, we're likely to see a frenetic pace in 2019 on the state tax front.

Before that happens though, take some time on this first weekend of 2019 to check out the Tax Foundation's look at state tax law changes that took effect on New Year's Day.

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