New Year Brings Changes in Florida: From Tax Breaks to Transparency

As the calendar flips to 2024, Floridians can expect a wave of new rules and benefits impacting everyday life. Here’s a snapshot of some major changes hitting the Sunshine State:

Top Of The List

Florida’s ‘Move Over’ law expands in 2024  

One of the most-visible changes is an expansion of the “move over” law, which requires drivers to get out of lanes closest to stopped vehicles such as police cars, ambulances and utility trucks.

As part of a wide-ranging transportation bill (HB 425) passed during the regular session, motorists starting Monday will have to provide space when disabled vehicles are stopped along roads with people visible or such things as warning lights on.

Violations will carry a fine of up to $158 for a noncriminal traffic infraction.

Transparency Takes Center Stage:

  • Get ready for a deeper look into the finances of your local leaders. Mayors and other elected officials will now need to file more detailed financial disclosures, including income, assets, and liabilities. Legislators and statewide officials were already subject to this level of transparency, but now their local counterparts will follow suit.

Financial Reliefs and Perks:

  • Save at the checkout! Back-to-school shopping gets a boost with a tax holiday from January 1st to 14th. Clothes under $100, school supplies under $50, learning aids under $30, and even personal computers under $1,500 will be exempt from sales tax.
  • Businesses can breathe a sigh of relief with a 15.1% decrease in workers’ compensation insurance rates. Individual businesses may see varying adjustments, but overall, the drop provides welcome financial relief.

Planning for the Future:

  • Campers rejoice! Booking state park campsites and cabins gets easier with extended reservation windows. Floridians can plan their getaways up to 11 months in advance, while non-residents can book 10 months ahead.
  • Nursing mothers gain access to dedicated lactation spaces in most county courthouses. This new requirement ensures mothers have a safe and comfortable place to care for their babies while navigating legal matters.

Other Noteworthy Updates:

  • The KidCare subsidized health insurance program expands eligibility and introduces income-based premium tiers.
  • The year-long toll-road credit program for frequent users comes to an end.

These changes mark a new chapter in Florida, impacting everything from financial matters to outdoor adventures and family needs. Whether it’s saving money on school supplies or planning dream camping trips, Floridians have plenty to anticipate in the new year.