As of July 1, the following laws are now in effect:
• Six percent Sales tax on a variety on soft drinks. It will apply to beverages that contain natural or artificial sweeteners that are non-alcoholic. It does not apply to beverages that contain milk or milk products, milk substitutes such as soy or rice or beverages that are comprised of 50 percent or more of vegetable or fruit juice.
• It is illegal to use a hand-held cellphone while stopped in traffic, such as a stoplight. Operators may use their hand-held devices while safely parked in a legal space. The use of hands-free electronic devices, such as Bluetooth, is allowed while driving.
• Mandatory Recycling: The state will require recycling containers to be located in all public buildings and property, and solid waste haulers must offer curbside service for residential recycling. Cavendish residents are fortunate to have free zero sort recycling at the transfer station.
• The new Latin motto of the state of Vermont will be “Stella quarta decima fulgeat,” which means “May the fourteenth star shine bright.”
• Effective June 17, a 0.2 percent surcharge on property transfer tax will be implemented to raise money toward cleaning up the state’s waters and will last until 2018.