New laws take effect in the new year

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Several new laws take effect in New York State in the new year, and many could have a big economic impact.

Beginning January 1, business owners can enjoy 10 years without taxes if they set up shop on or near a college campus. The tax breaks are part of the new “Start-Up NY” program, which Governor Andrew Cuomo has pushed as a way to create more jobs, especially upstate.

The State Gaming Commission can start planning construction of up to seven new, privately-owned casinos as of today, thanks to voters. Last Election Day, New Yorkers approved the casino proposal, despite deeply divided viewpoints. Lawmakers say the first four casinos will all be built upstate – in the Albany area, Catskills and Southern Tier.

Minimum wage workers are getting a raise this year. The state minimum is now $8 an hour, up from $7.25.

And starting New Year’s Day, all hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices in New York must offer Hepatitis C tests to all patients born between 1945 and 1965. According to the CDC, Baby Boomers account for 75 percent of all Hepatitis C infections in the United States.

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