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A new year means new laws in Tennessee, including some that could put money in people’s pockets.

Beginning in 2016, Tennessee drivers will now only have to renew their licenses every eight years instead of five.

The state’s seat belt law is also changing. Fines will increase from $10 to $25. Repeat offenders will now be fined $50 instead of $20.

People who try to drive without liability insurance may be flagged before they get in an accident. County clerks must now confirm a driver’s insurance before they give them their tag. The state can also revoke a driver’s registration if they are caught without liability insurance.

Beginning Friday, no one under the age of 18 will be allowed to buy cough syrup containing dextromethorphan. Some studies show one out of 10 teenagers have used the ingredient to get high.

Tennessee’s inheritance tax is also going away. The tax was anywhere from 5.5 to 9.5 percent of the estate left behind.

The Beacon Center of Tennessee fought the inheritance tax for years as an unfair double tax.

“This is a big deal because Tennessee is one of the last states in the country to come around and say it’s not fair to tax people when they are alive and tax them again when they die,” said Mark Cunningham with the Beacon Center. “A lot of people save up and work hard, and they want the money to go to their family, not to the government.”

An animal abusers state registry will also be established, similar to the sex offender registry. Offenders will go off the animal abusers registry if they go two years after their conviction without another crime.

All of these new laws go into effect on Jan. 1

Posted 9:05 AM  View Comments

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