The first in a series of minimum wage increases, new workplace harassment prevention training requirements, and a digital download tax are among the new state laws going into effect Oct. 1.
The state's $10.10 hourly minimum wage increases by 90 cents Oct. 1, followed by annual increases of $1 until the wage hits $15 in June 2023.
The minimum wage hike, which Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law in May, is certain to impact businesses.
"It's not what we need when Connecticut businesses—especially small businesses—have struggled to create jobs," says CBIA's Eric Gjede.
Once the minimum wage hits $15 in June 2023, future increases will be tied to the federal employment index.
Beginning Oct. 1, companies with as few as three employees must provide all workers with sexual harassment prevention training.
The old law required employers with 50 or more workers to train supervisory employees within six months of hiring.
Employers are now required to provide supervisors with supplemental harassment prevention training at least once every 10 years.
The state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities is preparing online training materials that satisfy the requirements and will be available to employers at no cost.
In addition, recent comments by CHRO officials indicate this training will be transferable from employer to employer, provided the prospective employee can produce a certificate showing they have completed the training.
The state's 6.35% sales tax will apply to digital purchases, such as the streaming services Netflix and Spotify, from Oct. 1.
A $12.99 monthly subscription to Netflix will cost $13.81 while Spotify subscribers will see monthly costs increase by up to 96 cents, depending on their plan.
The tax is expected to raise $27.5 million this fiscal year and $37.1 million next year
The 6.35% tax on prepared foods sold by grocery stores and restaurants jumps to 7.35% Oct. 1.
That tax hike generated controversy this month after the Department of Revenue Services issued guidelines—based on the state budget—that expanded the prepared foods tax to a broad range of grocery items.
Those guidelines were withdrawn following widespread backlash, with the tax hike restricted to items already covered by the prepared foods tax.
If you're trading in a car while buying another one from a dealer, the trade-in fee the state charges dealers goes from $35 to $100. Revenue estimates are $7.4 million for the first year and $9.8 million in year two.
Other tax changes going on the books include:
- A 10% increase in the excise tax on alcohol that's expected to generate $8.8 million over two years.
- A new tax on e-cigarettes should generate $4.4 million over two years.
- Online short-term rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo will be subject to the state's 15% hotel tax, which should add $3.5 million in revenue over two years.