Road Warrior Newsletter

July 2, 2010


Dear NJGCA Member:


Fourth of July.jpg

With so much of our attention focused on Trenton the last two months, it almost seems that the Fourth of July snuck up on us!

With all these distractions, I hope you are looking forward to celebrating our nation’s 234th birthday with friends and family.  I know I am.

Yet, even as we get ready for the festivities and cook-outs, it is appropriate for us to pause and reflection on the meaning of this important holiday.

Whether you realize it or not, your personal success as a small business owner is directly tied to the Fourth of July.  Think about it: Our Founding Fathers not only established a new nation dedicated to individual liberty, but also created a free-market system that is the envy of the world.  In doing so, they guaranteed that the entrepreneurial spirit would thrive, competition would spread, and every person could be the master of their own occupational destiny.

It is partially in respect to these principals which allows your business to flourish!

So this weekend while you’re chomping on a hot dog, throwing around a Frisbee or just relaxing in a hammock, take a few moments to consider all of this and count your blessings!

Last week, I told you that I anticipated our fight to save Safety Inspections was drawing to a close and the battle was over.  As the Governor has signed the budget into law on Tuesday, I can now confirm that our proposal was not a part of the final bill.

As hard as it is to accept that our plan was rejected, we must accept it and move on.

Ultimately, even if Safety Inspections are now eliminated, it only amounts to a single battle in a larger war to MOVE NEW JERSEY TO AN ALL PIF INSPECTION SYSTEM.  That is the larger goal and it is a war that we will continue to fight for in the year ahead.

Again, I’d like to THANK YOU for making phone calls, sending faxes, and writing emails in an effort to get our proposal approved.  To those who sat on the sidelines during this fight: DON’T GET TOO COMFORTABLE.  We’ve got a lot of work yet to do and I’m going to need you to participate!

However, even as we sit back and take stock of the situation, it doesn’t mean that this budget was a total loss for our Association.  Peeling back the layers, you will find a number of things to celebrate:

With the budget enacted, we can now verify that new diesel tax regulations were adopted.  That means that you no longer have to file reports and remit diesel taxes monthly. Instead, the tax will be applied on your invoice, saving you time and grief.  However, since all bureaucracies move at their own pace, I strongly advise you to continue to file your monthly reports until officially notified by the Department of Taxation.  Don’t give them the opportunity to fine you!

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) fund – which has been continually pillaged by members of the Legislature for the last 15 years to balance past budgets – will also be replenished.  As you recall, a few months back I told you that the UI fund was set up to instantly trigger a massive payroll tax increases when funding hit a low point.  We’ve now hit that low point, but instead of a huge hike, the increase will be much more modest.  In fact, it’s going up roughly 25% - or about $130 - compared to the anticipated $400+ increase per employee the law called for.

Additionally, the new budget reduces state spending by nearly 10% and closes a budget shortfall of over $11 billion.  What does that mean for you?  It means that Trenton may be finally waking up to the fiscal reality that the last decade of excessive taxing and spending are over.  In all, there were $90 million in cuts for the business community – which means less of your dollars are being spent by bureaucrats on needless programs.

However, in order to see real reform, something has to be done about the ridiculous property tax burden on residents and businesses in New Jersey.  While we are incredibly frustrated with Governor Christie for not supporting our initiative to save Safety Inspections, I applaud his efforts to cap all yearly property tax increases at 2.5%.   Known as “Cap 2.5”, this measure is part of a larger series of reforms (33 pieces of legislation to be precise), which would prevent run-away spending on the local and county levels.

Why is this necessary?  Because property taxes have been increasing at a rate of 7%-15% per year every year for the last decade and more.  If you own your location (or your own home), this means you’re paying more out of pocket.  If you are leasing your location (or renting your residence), your landlord is hiking your rent in order to make up for the rise in property tax.  Many oil company leases now contain provisions that require the dealer to pay property taxes directly.  It affects all of us and it has to stop.

Click HERE to learn more about Cap 2.5 and support this initiative.  You only have your business to protect and money to lose.

Speaking of budgeting, I wanted to bring to your attention a series of advertisements or mail pieces you may be getting on buying cheaper electricity for your small business or home.  You maybe wondering if it’s a gimmick or if it’s real and let me assure you its VERY real.  Thanks to some regulatory changes that were made a decade ago, many companies are now getting very aggressive to sell electricity to you.  Depending on how much juice you use, you could see a savings of 10% on your electric service.  What’s more, we have been approached by some of these companies to possibly give an additional reduction to NJGCA Members only.

Look for more information on this soon, but you shouldn’t miss out on an opportunity to save money.  Even if all you save is $50 a month, it’s still a savings that can help you make ends meet.

Lastly, many of you collect and use waste oil to heat your garages in the winter.  Right now, the powers that be in Washington, D.C. are rewriting waste oil regulations and it could have an affect on your use of waste oil to fuel your garage heaters.

However, in order to gauge our response, I need to know how many of you use waste oil heaters in the winter.  As soon as you can, please contact me and tell me if you use waste oil to heat your station.

Happy Fourth of July!!  Thanks for reading and see you next week!!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director 

 IN THIS WEEK’S NJGCA ROAD WARRIOR                                    

•Added All PIF and Diesel classes below!!

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

•NJGCA in the News: Risalvato on elimination of Safety Inspections
Christie signs $29.4B budget into law
Payroll taxes to increase $130 per employee to cover Unemployment benefits
Property Taxes: Former Gov. Kean talks municipal mergers

 ON THE NJGCA HOMEPAGE                                                           

Check out all of our MBPs and Programs designed to SAVE YOU MONEY!

Looking for something? Take a look at our list of useful links!

Find all our communications and search for old e-newsletters. Take a look!

Need to catch up on events?  Want to see what's going on?  Find out here!

 KNOW YOUR TERRITORY MANAGER!                                           

Henry Darden: Territory Manager for Middlesex, Union, Part of Essex (Southern Half)

Cell: 973-477-0057

Jack Leli: Territory Manager for Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem
Cell: 732-995-1637

Bob Quirk: Territory Manager for Bergen, Hudson, Part of Essex (Northern Half)
Cell: 201-214-8836

Frank Stewart: Territory Manager for Morris, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Passaic
Cell: 973-234-7403
Don Stohrer: Territory Manager for Monmouth, Mercer, Somerset
Cell: 732-539-2955



ETEP Re-Certification Classes
NJGCA is offering the ETEP course that your ERT’s need in order to re-certify their license.

Our Course includes:
•New Jersey State Specific Information Course
•ETEP Section 6 “OBDII Monitoring Failures”
•Section 7 “Light-Duty Diesel Vehicle Technologies and Testing”.
Everything your technician needs to Re-Certify his ERT license!!!


PLEASE NOTE: We are always in the process of putting together additional classes. If you are interested in taking classes in this time period, please call NJGCA and let us know so we can add you to the list.

Call Debbie Hill to enroll in the classes at or call 973-376-0066.


Ensuring our friends in the legislature are re-elected and advocating for our agenda in Trenton are of utmost importance to the agenda of NJGCA.

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 the shoulders of a few.  This is not fair to them, and it is not fair to many of you who are relying on the benefits of good legislation being passed in Trenton.

To truly understand the importance of fundraising for our allies, let’s look back upon the overwhelming successes of the last year:

NJGCA successfully lobbied against BELOW COST SELLING. If approved, BELOW COST SELLING would have cost each of you thousands of dollars and put many of you out of businesses.  NJGCA leaned on some of our friends in the Assembly and literally had the bill pulled off the floor on the day it was scheduled to be voted on.  Our friends in the Legislature helped us get this accomplished.

NJGCA made history and led the charge to pass the most comprehensive protection of franchisees in decades with FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL legislation.  FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL passed only because NJGCA and dealers throughout the state were able to lean on several friends in the Assembly and the Senate.

NJGCA has been rallying support for RIGHT TO REPAIR over the last two years among key legislators.  This would end the practice of car manufacturers denying you the codes necessary to complete the repairs you make on your customers cars.  Every state has tried to pass RIGHT TO REPAIR and no state has even been able to get the legislation out of committee.   Because of our friends in the Legislature, NJGCA has been successful in getting this bill passed by the Assembly and now awaits a vote in the Senate.

I am asking some of you as individuals to make a contribution and attend a fundraising event sponsored by one of our friends in the Assembly.

However, we will not be able to host events for all of our friends, so the NJGCA PAC will have to make contributions.  You will be receiving letters soon from the NJGCA PAC asking you to make contributions. 

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

66 Morris Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
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. 


NJGCA in the News: Risalvato on elimination of Safety Inspections
NJGCA Executive Director Sal Risalvato recently commented on the elimination of safety inspections from the 2011 state budget. Sal points out that shop owners had to pay more than $8,500 for new equipment but will now have to wait longer to make a return on their investment.  Click above to read the full article.

Christie signs $29.4B budget into law
The Governor signed his first budget into law on Tuesday, which closes a near $11 billion shortfall and cuts spending by nearly 10%.  The Governor now plans a special session of the Legislature that will address affordable housing and a 2.5% property tax cap.

Payroll taxes to increase $130 per employee to cover Unemployment benefits
After years of borrowing from the state’s unemployment insurance fund to help balance the budget, the fund is now facing $1 billion shortfall.  To combat this problem, and avoid an automatic $400 per employee hike, legislation was passed which would limit the increase to $130 per employee per year.

Property Taxes: Former Gov. Kean talks municipal mergers
A civic forum in Bergen County recently hosted a discussion on the possible savings in consolidating municipalities. Former Gov. Tom Kean, one of the presenters, supported the idea as a means of lowering property taxes and gaining larger efficiencies.  Click above for full details.


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