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Road Warrior Newsletter


August 9, 2018

Dear NJGCA Member:

Thank you for reading this week's NJGCA Road Warrior!

Here is what you will find in this edition:

• Potential Gas Tax Increase; Important Reminder on Male Enhancement Products for Convenience Store Owners; NJGCA/FMA Meeting with NJDEP; A/B Operator Testing

- Monmouth County: Gas Station and Repair Shop Business Since 2001
- Bergen County: Shell Gas Station with 6-Bay Repair Shop for Sale

• Proposed Pass-through Regulations Released
• 'Bad Faith' Insurance Bill Will Yield Costly, Frivolous Lawsuits: Buteas
Diesel Buses Stink. Are Electric Buses The Solution For N.J. Cities?
New Jerseyans Aren't Obeying The Speed Limit, So A Lawmaker Wants To Change Them
Wawa Tests New Checkout Kiosks
Phil Murphy Administration Vows To Fight Trump's Plan To Weaken Car Emission Standards
Big Oil Cheers Quietly as Trump Moves to Ease Auto Standards
• New Jersey Has 3,229 Convenience Stores, And More Are On The Way

??????• Emissions Inspector Training Class, WEDNESDAY September 19th, THURSDAY October 18th

• The Amato Agency: Garage Insurance and Workers Compensation! 
• ATS Environmental: Confidence in your Tank & Compliance Testing

• Bellomo Fuel: Exceptional Service, Aggressive Petroleum Marketing
• CBIZ Insurance: Our Business is Growing Yours!

• Gill Energy: Getting you There!
• Lending Capital: "Commercial Loans Made Easy" Program
• Salomone Brothers: Tank Testing and Environmental Compliance
• TMP Energy Solutions: Another Way to Save On Your Energy Bills

• Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!

Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices




I mentioned several months ago the potential for a gas tax increase based on the law that raised the gas tax back in 2016, requiring that the revenue taken in for the Transportation Trust Fund has to amount to $2 billion a year, and includes a reevaluation of how much was actually taken in once the fiscal year ends. New Jersey’s fiscal year ends at midnight on June 30th. The law requires the Treasurer to evaluate the previous year’s revenue and to adjust the gas tax accordingly up (or down if revenues exceeded $2B in the previous year) on October 1st. Eric Blomgren in our office did a comprehensive evaluation back in April that shows a revenue shortfall that could result in as much as a 3.5¢ increase on October 1st. He has also done some calculations that would reduce that number to about 1¢ if it is spread out over the next five years.
We have presented our calculations to the leadership in both the Assembly and the Senate, and to the Governor and Treasurer. Last Thursday, we met with the Treasurer and had a serious discussion requesting that the Treasurer use her discretion and adopt Eric’s formula for a 1¢ increase rather than a 3.5¢ increase. Since the decision has to be made by August 15th, we were encouraged when the Treasurer invited Eric back this past Monday to review his calculations with the Treasury staff that crunches the numbers. I don't have a clue what the Treasurer will decide, but hopefully we have given her enough evidence to make a gas tax increase less painful, and she chooses to raise the tax one penny a year for five years, rather than a 3.5¢ increase this October. The formula to determine the tax is extremely complicated, and I expect we will be talking about this often over the next five years as we will do our best to mitigate any substantial decreases in revenues to the Transportation Trust Fund that result in increases in the gas tax.
As we move forward trying to resolve the legal threat to our members involved in the male enhancement products lawsuit, I continue to be fearful for all of my other members who may not be heeding our many warnings around carrying these products. This fear stems from the number of calls I have received from members saying they are aware of other convenience stores that continue to sell these male enhancement products. I am worried that some of my members who may not have received a demand letter from the plaintiffs’ attorneys may still be selling these products, even though I have warned that they must be taken off the shelves. This is not just a warning from me, but also the FDA. Let me be clear: if you are selling any of these products that are sold under many different brand names, you must take them off of your shelves immediately. In essence, you are selling a prescription drug over the counter without a pharmacist’s license. Although we believe the plaintiffs’ claims for damages are baseless, unfounded, and merely extortion, you will be leaving yourself open to legal action that will require a defense. Please do not ignore this, please do not be stupid! Get these products off of your shelves now! I hope my instincts are incorrect and the warning I just gave was unnecessary.
Last week, NJGCA and the Fuel Merchants Association (FMA) met with NJDEP officials to discuss potential problems for UST operators who are unable to comply with all of the new regulations, including operator training requirements by the October 13th deadline. I would like to thank my counterpart at FMA, Eric DeGesero, for helping to facilitate this meeting. Although I do not think there will be any extensions granted, I remain hopeful that in certain situations where retailers can demonstrate the efforts they have made to comply, that a reasonable grace period will be allowed before a ban on deliveries is imposed on the location. We will keep you updated.
Eric and I could not attend this meeting as I mentioned earlier we were meeting with the Treasurer at the exact same time. NJGCA President Kashmir Gill accompanied Eric and I to the meeting with the Treasurer and VP Joe Ocello accompanied Debbie to the meeting with DEP.
L to R: Sonya Wilcox, Stuart Friedman, Joe Ocello, Kevin Marlow, Debbie Hill, Mike Hastry, John Olko, Mike Hollis, Eric DeGesero, John Donohue

One of our concerns is the high rate of failures for those taking the Operator A/B tests. We continue to dispute that Rutgers is permitted to be the only training provider and ICC as the only testing provider. We not only believe that NJGCA is better suited to do this training, but we believe we would also be a more convenient, efficient, and economical option. We are also certain we can do a much better job testing, and that there will be a much higher success rate should we be given this responsibility. This is a fight that we will continue. In the meantime, please continue to check the EPA website to access the practice exams that they provide before taking the exam. The test is currently down but should be back up and running again shortly. Be sure to register to take the training course from Rutgers and sign up to take the exam before the October 13th deadline. It appears they have added another class date for September 20th in Somerset. We also recently posted some new and updated resources to our website which may help you in your preparation for the test.

That's all for this week-
Sal Risalvato
Executive Director


All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 4900 Route 33 West, Wall Township, NJ 07753

Emissions Inspector Training Class - One Day Only!
WEDNESDAY, September 19th, 2018 -- 7 AM to 3 PM
THURSDAY, October 18th, 2018 -- 7 AM to 3 PM

Want one of your technicians to become a NJ Emissions Inspector? We can help! Our one-day class will provide all the information for becoming a NJ Emissions Inspector, and the State will administer the written test the very same day at our offices!  We are offering the class: Wednesday, September 19th and Thursday, October 18th from 7:00am to 3:00pm.
Cost is $275 for members.
Click HERE for September and HERE for October registration forms





Business For Sale: Monmouth County gas station and repair shop in business since 2001 is for sale. Owner is relocating out of state and is interested in selling business and equipment. Owner is open to limited financing. Business has a strong 10 year lease. The building has two repair bays and the gas pumps are leased to a large independent tenant. Repair shop business currently employs a Manager and two full-time Technicians. For inquiries and more info, please call Mark at 908-670-7798.


Shell Gas Station with 6-Bay Repair Shop for Sale in Bergen County!

Business established in 1980. Fully equipped repair shop with 5 lifts including an alignment rack with a 2-year-old Hunter Hawkeye alignment machine. New Hunter tire machine & wheel balancer. AAA approved and very busy.
Towing business also available which includes 3 Freightliner/JerrDan flatbeds (2015, 2016 & 2017), a 2012 Dodge crew cab wrecker with a Jerrdan Quick Pick & dual cable winch & 2 service trucks (a 2012 GMC 2500 utility truck with a plow & a 2014 Ford transit battery/service vehicle).

Pumping over 1,000,000 gallons per year. 100x300 lot with plenty of parking. Excellent location!!! Call Jim @ 201-851-3084.




Proposed Pass-through Regulations Released

Yesterday the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations that would allow pass-through entities to deduct 20% of their qualified business income. When the U.S. Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, it created provisions to provide businesses such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts and S corporations with a 20% tax deduction for qualified pass-through income that is taxed at individual income tax rates, effectively taxing them at a similar rate as corporations.

'Bad Faith' Insurance Bill Will Yield Costly, Frivolous Lawsuits: Buteas
Insurance costs are a central component to the affordability challenges both residents and businesses face in New Jersey. Policyholders in the Garden State currently pay among the highest average premiums in the nation. Instead of trying to find solutions that would lessen the financial burden, the New Jersey Legislature recently introduced a bill that could cause these already exorbitant rates to skyrocket and threaten the ability of businesses to operate in the state. Assembly bill A-4293/3850 would rewrite the legal definitions of good faith and bad faith in a way that would open the floodgates for frivolous lawsuits based on bad faith claims and could increase insurance costs by as much as 40 percent. This “bad faith” bill would allow individuals additional opportunities to sue insurance companies for minor delays in processing claims. 
The legislation is so vague and overly broad that overzealous attorneys would be able to sue insurance companies for normal mistakes that occur in the ordinary course of business.
  Environmentalists, who seek to clean the air to reduce respiratory diseases like asthma, want electric buses seriously considered as NJ Transit drafts a new plan to replace aging urban buses, starting in 2022. Currently, NJ Transit has doesn't have any electric buses in its fleet. New York's MTA is testing 10 electric buses in Manhattan and Brooklyn and Queens. . . Northeastern states such as New Jersey can reduce pollution by cutting emissions from transportation, said a Natural Resources Defense Council report issued last month. Part of that strategy calls on transit agencies to replace diesel buses with electrics, especially in cities. Other ideas call for more transit use and replacing gas powered cars with electrics. Electrics could prevent the generation of 486,068 metric tons of carbon dioxide that now spew out of MTA diesel bus tailpipes. Even when factoring in the 91,222 metric tons of CO2 produced by power plants that generate electricity to charge the buses, that's still a big drop, the study said.

New Jerseyans Aren't Obeying The Speed Limit, So A Lawmaker Wants To Change Them
The numbers confirm what your eyes are telling you: Most people driving on New Jersey’s highways aren’t obeying the speed limit. On a stretch of Route 287 northbound in Morris County, for example, only 23 percent of drivers on average stayed under the speed limit on any tested weekday in 2017. On a portion of Route 18 in Monmouth County, only 18 percent were not speeding. And on Route 322 in Gloucester County, 7 percent followed the law. That's according to monthly speed data collected on roadways across the state by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. So what's the cause of this widespread law-breaking? According to one Republican lawmaker, it's the speed limits themselves. “Either we are all crazed homicidal maniacs or our speed limit setting methodology is deeply flawed,” said Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth. “I don’t believe we’re all crazed homicidal maniacs.” O’Scanlon is behind a new effort to radically rethink how speed limits are set on New Jersey's highways. He says he wants to take politics out of the equation and let the limits reflect how fast most people are already driving.

Wawa Tests New Checkout Kiosks
This week, Wawa Inc. rolled out a pilot of checkout kiosks at its Broad and Walnut streets c-store in Philadelphia. The separate checkout counter on wheels accepts card payment only, reported Billy Penn. The Broad and Walnut streets c-store is the only one in the City of Brotherly Love currently testing the mobile registers, in addition to a few of the busier stores at the Jersey Shore.Lori Bruce, corporate spokesperson for Wawa, confirmed to Billy Penn that the company is officially giving the checkout alternative a try. "We are always testing new ways to improve convenience and the customer experience," she wrote in an email. "[A]t this time, we don't have a lot of details available."

Phil Murphy Administration Vows To Fight Trump's Plan To Weaken Car Emission Standards
New Jersey joined several states Thursday in opposing the Trump administration's  plans to weaken fuel efficiency goals for cars and trucks including revoking states' long-standing authority to set their own, stricter mileage standards. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said he would press forward with a lawsuit filed in May that challenged the decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection to declare Obama-era vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency goals through 2025 as “not appropriate.” The EPA unveiled its proposed rule changes on Thursday.  The proposal would freeze U.S. mileage standards at 2020 levels, when the new vehicle fleet will be required to hit an average of 30 miles per gallon in real-world driving. The Obama administration had planned to keep toughening fuel requirements through 2026 when fleets were to average 54.5 miles per gallon.

Big Oil Cheers Quietly as Trump Moves to Ease Auto Standards
The Trump administration’s plan to relax fuel-economy and vehicle pollution standards could be a boon to U.S. oil producers who’ve quietly lobbied for the measure. The proposal, released Thursday, would translate into an additional 500,000 barrels of U.S. oil demand per day by the early 2030s, about 2 to 3 percent of projected consumption, according to government calculations. “It’s a meaningful increase in U.S. oil consumption” and one of the biggest steps the Trump administration could take to boost crude demand, said Trevor Houser, a partner with the Rhodium Group, a research firm that’s analyzed the proposal. “In terms of policy interventions that the U.S. government has taken or could take, this is certainly the most significant.” The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed locking in U.S. fuel-economy and tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions requirements at 2020 levels of 37 miles per gallon. The existing standards the Trump administration wants to replace call for a steady increase to roughly 47 mpg by 2025.

New Jersey Has 3,229 Convenience Stores, And More Are On The Way
Convenience stores are a one stop shop for a lot of stuff, and we apparently can't get enough. New Jersey has 3,229 of them -- and counting -- according to Jeff Lenard, the vice president of the National Association of Convenience Stores. . .“Stores are heavily geared towards self-service,” said Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, C-Store, and Automotive Association. "You get your own coffee, your own hot dog, your own drinks.” In most convenience stores, there is no interaction with employees until you put your items down at the register -- and even less if a store offers mobile ordering through an app. Risalvato expects that technology will continue to play a huge role in how convenience stores operate. “Frictionless payment is on it’s way. You’ll sign up for the store card and it will track when you enter a store, what you pick up and will charge your card automatically. You don’t even go to the cash register,” Risalvato said.



TMP Energy Solutions
Another Way to Save on Your Energy Bills
We have had a number of NJGCA members successfully reduce their rate per kWh signing up through our energy saving program. We know it's difficult to collect 12 months worth of previous electric bills to get an "accurate" analysis when comparing a variable rate to a fixed rate, but we now have another option available. 
This new solution is a power purchase option; the other program is still in full force and has saved members thousands of dollars. If you sign up for the power purchase option, you will be grouped with other NJGCA members until the minimum kW demand is acquired. By pooling the member's usage together, you will be able to take advantage, as large energy users do, and receive a lower kWh rate.
Each member will receive their own contract. Each member is responsible to sign and return the agreement the day it is received in order to secure the price for their group. Please do your due diligence, so when you receive the proposal and the agreement you will be able to make an intelligent decision.
If by chance, you still want us to assess you bills, to give you a price to compare, we will require 12 months of your most recent utility bills. There are no bills required, but we would still like to have one bill per meter on file to check account #'s, meter #'s  service addresses and other pertinent information incase there is a problem.
The term of the agreement is for 12 months. During this term period, you will have price protection against any energy price increases along with a low fixed kWh rate.
If you are interested in becoming part of this power purchase option, please contact Greg Cannon at the NJGCA.
Remember when you sign up your energy through the NJGCA Energy Program, TMP makes a considerable donation to the NJGCA Scholarship Fund through their proceeds. This has no affect on your rate, and costs you nothing out of pocket.
We hope to help hundreds of NJGCA members reduce their utility costs by participating in this and our other cost reduction programs.  Our purpose, in the endeavor, is to help NJGCA members lower their energy costs while supporting the NJGCA Scholarship Fund. 
Contact GREG CANNON at 732-256-9646 or email Greg at greg@njgca.org. Mention that you are interested in saving money on your energy bills. NJGCA & TMP Energy Solutions will handle all the rest. 

Promoting our agenda in Trenton is of utmost importance to NJGCA and our members.

However, in order to truly affect the debate, we must ensure our friends in the Legislature are re-elected. It is for this reason that your Association has established the NJGCA PAC.

For too long, the weight of funding our Political Action Committee, the arm of the Association responsible for political donations, has rested upon a few. This is not only unfair to those few members who have shouldered this burden, but means we are not utilizing our full strength to affect the debate in Trenton.
To truly understand the importance of supporting our allies, consider our successes in Trenton:
We made history in getting FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL signed into law!
We have built large support for RIGHT TO REPAIR and got it passed out of the Assembly
We defended your small business against the false accusations of Attorney General Anne Milgram
We gained wide support to move New Jersey to an all PIF Inspection System and close the CIF lanes
...and MUCH MORE!!
In each instance, we achieved these goals with the help of our friends in the Legislature!

If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies. 

4900 Route 33 West, Suite 100
Wall Township, NJ 07753
Please make your donation payable to NJGCA PAC

I understand that times are tough for all NJGCA members, but this is just as important as any battle we have fought in the past.
We have made great progress in Trenton. I hope that you will answer the call. 
Each week, the Energy Information Administration publishes a list of average gasoline prices for the previous three weeks. NJGCA will begin including this list with the Weekly Road Warrior.  Remember, these prices are reflective of self-serve everywhere except NJ.