New year, new legislation taking effect

Several changes are taking effect the first of this year from legislature enacted in 2022 or earlier, including changes to Iowa's bottle bill.

Several changes are taking effect the first of this year from legislature enacted in 2022 or earlier. Below are a few of the items that are now in effect in our area.

Iowa changes
Some of the legislation taking effect this year includes the tax exemption for retirement income payments, including IPERS benefits, 401k, IRAs and such from being taxed by the state as personal income for individuals who are 55 years of age or older or who are disabled and provides the same exclusion to surviving spouses or other qualifying survivors. Retired farmers with lease income also hold to this exception and will be exempt from personal income tax on those payments. This does not necessarily apply for lump-sum payments over $6,000. For details, consult your tax preparer or financial advisor.
State-wide income tax will be a flat rate of six percent or less, based on income guidelines, this year, on its path to 3.9 percent in 2026. Capital gains exclusions will be in effect for the sale of qualified stocks at a 33 percent reduction of value leading up to the complete exclusion of capital stock sales as taxable capital gains by 2025. This year also begins qualified farmland/production sales exclusion from taxable capital gains. For details, consult a tax preparer or financial advisor.
Only approved redemption centers will be listed on the DNR website, and all approved centers will offer redemption of all redeemable containers. With this change, effective Jan. 1, the five-cent cooperage will still be paid out to customers. There are two registered redemption centers in Winneshiek County listed on the DNR website, and they are both listed as Calmar addresses. Two redemption centers are listed in Waukon, one in Postville in Allamakee County. Fayette County has one in Fayette, two in Oelwein and one in Westgate.  
Winneshiek County Recycling will accept cans and bottles; they will not pay the cooperage to the customer, but simply recycle the materials. There are several area non-profits, including the Spectrum Network, who accept donations of redeemable products.
Iowa gas stations will now be required to offer higher ethanol blends, including 15 percent ethanol, as well as ensuring any new equipment is compatible with 85 percent ethanol gas and 20 percent biodiesel gas. Small stations may receive waivers, but all new equipment installed must meet the new requirements and offer the higher ethanol and biodiesel blends.

Minnesota new legislation
A new law updates best interest standards in annuity sales to help protect consumers, especially older adults. Insurers may not put their financial interests ahead of the consumer. When recommending an annuity, insurance agents should follow revised National Association of Insurance Commissioners standards, satisfying four conduct obligations: care, disclosure, conflict of interest and documentation.
A new law, effective to initial registrations filed on or after Jan. 1, 2023, changes the due date for franchise renewals. The deadline to renew a business registration will be the anniversary of the initial registration instead of 120 days after the end of the fiscal year.
Increased post-natal health care coverage by public and private health insurers will take effect this year, ensuring a mother and child be seen by a health care provider for a comprehensive visit within three weeks of delivery, as recommended by provider between three and 11 weeks of delivery, and another comprehensive provider visit at 12 weeks from delivery.  
The law updates the state’s salvage title regulations by creating a “prior salvage” brand. It aims to solve an issue of less-expensive vehicles holding a clean Minnesota title, despite incurring damage that costs more than 80 percent of its value or causes an insurance company to declare the vehicle a total loss. In-state and out-of-state vehicles will be treated consistently. Motorcycles as well as heavier commercial vehicles are now subject to the same title branding and disclosure requirements as other types of vehicles.
Minnesota’s minimum-wage rates will be adjusted for inflation on Jan. 1, 2023, to $10.59 an hour for large employers and $8.63 an hour for other state minimum wages. As part of Minnesota’s employee notice requirement, employers are required to provide each employee with a written notice of any change, before the change takes effect, including a change to the employee’s rate of pay.