Road Warrior Newsletter

June 6, 2008


Dear NJGCA Member:


This week, NJGCA has been in over-drive defending you against burdensome legislation.  If you’ve been reading the Wildfire Alerts I’ve been sending out all week, you know I was in Trenton yesterday testifying against A-2904 – a proposal that will allow retailers to sell gasoline below cost.

We know who wants this bill - Corporate owned gasoline retailers with numerous locations.  These “big box” outfits will leverage their size to put you out of business.  They will gladly lose money on gasoline – and survive off their convenience store operations – if it means running you out of town!!

Predatory pricing is illegal and laws are in place to protect you from this practice.  But Trenton is trying to change that.  The public outcry over gas prices has made legislators try to show their constituents they are taking action, however, this bill is nothing more than “feel good” legislation – another attempt by lawmakers to fool the public into believing they are doing something about energy prices.

If that wasn’t enough, yesterday also brought another stupid proposal by Assemblyman Burzichelli that will allow municipalities to charge an ‘occupational tax’ on gasoline bulk storage tanks. This is one more attempt for Trenton to extort money from you.

Hold on….I am not done yet outlining Trenton’s foolishness.

Monday the Senate Transportation Committee agenda includes 3 different bills that seek to further fine you for incorrectly posted cash/credit signage - the most extreme version of which asks for an ADDITIONAL $5,000.00 fine if you display street signs incorrectly.

Do you see a pattern here?

I am sure that you know this already - we aren’t the most beloved industry doing business out there.  As pump prices continue to rise, the public imagines up claims that you’ve cheated them.

Trenton and motorists fail to understand that you are suffering worse than they are.

Do they look out for your interests? No they do not.  But NJGCA does.

Thursday was an impressive display of what our Association can do when we stand together.  Thanks to the many members that traveled to Trenton to oppose this bill.  NJGCA members, many dressed in their service station uniforms, spoke out against the harm this measure would do to the quintessential American business.

And we were successful.  The bill passed out of the Assembly Committee, but not without critical comments and some reservation by the members.  Assemblyman Burzichelli himself stated that he would not push to have the bill voted on by the full Assembly without seeking some kind of compromise.  He has promised to meet with NJGCA and our members to continue this dialogue.

Let me be plain: WE NEED MORE OF THIS.  We need you to be active, get involved in these efforts, and speak to potential members about joining our Association.  NJGCA needs to be on constant alert to protect your interests, but we cannot do it alone.  We need members to stand with us and we also need new colleagues to strengthen our reach.

Spread the word!  Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you may have.

Thanks for reading.  See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director


State House Legislative Report

•A-2599: ‘Occupational Tax’ coming?
•Three Cash/Credit Signage bills to come before Committee


•Anyone try to drive off without paying?


NJGCA testifies at Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee


•Assembly considers voter approval for borrowing
•Restoring a rail-link from NJ to PA
NJGCA in the News: Fractional pricing explained to the public
NJGCA in the News: OpEd condemns bottle program

State House Legislative Report


Assemblyman Burzichelli has introduced legislation that would permit municipalities to charge for storage and dispensing motor fuel from an underground storage tank.

The bill would also allow municipal entities to establish “licenses” for these activities.

NJGCA was in Trenton to testify against this bill, but before the hearing, it was pulled.  The original language was vague and we have word from the sponsor that he is going to rework the bill, as our members were not his intentioned target.


Three bills are slated to be heard before the Senate Transportation Committee on Monday concerning proper motor fuel signage at retail locations.

All three bills seek to take the current regulations and fees and codify them into statutes.

However, two of the bills – S-1831 (Sarlo) and S-1731 (Allen) – ask to increase the fines from the current $1500-$3000 levels and add an additional $1000 and $5000 respectively to the established fines.

Only Senator Turner’s proposal, S-1431, would create the statutes without any additional fines.

We suspect that all three bills will be merged during the Committee hearing and we will update you as more information becomes available.


As the price of gasoline increase, motorists may display less-than-honorable behavior when paying.

We have recently heard of a number of “drive-offs” – drivers filling their tanks and failing to pay attendants before speeding off – taking place around the State the past few months.

A major network has asked if any of you may have security camera footage of cars that have driven off without paying.  Let us know if you do as this network would like to interview you and use your video tape.

Please contact Communications Director Nick De Palma with any footage you may have.


Assembly considers voter approval for borrowing
After years and billions of dollars in borrowing, state officials are now considering a measure that will give voters ballot approval of any state borrowing.  The move comes as $24 billion in borrowing was approved by the Legislature since 1990 and New Jersey becomes America’s fourth most debt-ridden state.

Restoring a rail-link from NJ to PA
North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority has signed off on a partial restoration of the old Lackawanna Cutoff, a passenger and freight line that once extended from Scranton to Hoboken.  There is strong support to restore the entire railway in the near future as northwest New Jersey continues to grow.

NJGCA in the News: Fractional pricing explained to the public
In response to a reader’s inquiry, the Daily Record’s “Road Crew” recently contacted Executive Director Sal Risalvato to explain the meaning and the merits of 9/10ths, fractional pricing.

NJGCA in the News: OpEd condemns bottle program
An editorial submitted by Executive Director Sal Risalvato denouncing the proposed deposit/refund “container system” was recently published in the Asbury Park Press.

Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist