With New Year Come New Laws

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It's the first day of 2009 and dozens of state laws are taking effect in New York. They govern everything from composting to tax refunds. WNYC's Ilya Marritz has more.

REPORTER: There's no such thing as an "early tax refund," and now tax preparers will be fined if they advertise them. A new law says tax preparers must tell consumers that what they're really being sold is a loan. Many of these refund anticipation loans come with a high interest rate.

Another change: the owners of vacant properties in northern Manhattan are losing their tax break. Most empty buildings on the island are north of 110th street. The city wants owners to fix up or sell up.

Finally, there will be more re-use and recycling in 2009. There's a tax break for farmers who turn animal and plant waste into mulch and compost. For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz.