August 3, 2012
Dear NJGCA Member:
Thank you for reading this week's NJGCA Road Warrior!
Here's what you'll find in this edition:
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
•LUKOIL Dealer Meeting, Mass-Action on Right to Repair, Bush Tax Cuts, and More!
•Do YOU have equipment for sale or are you looking for a new employee?!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
•State utility plans solar power expansion
•Education: State considers “achievement districts” to combat failing schools
•Study: Internal combustion engine will remain a staple for automotive consumers
•Garden State has among the worst unemployment rate
TRAINING CLASS SCHEDULE
•NJ Emission Inspector Training Class now available -- See Details Below!
MEET THE FOLKS AT LIBERTY GAS
•Looking for a new brand for your station? Take a look at the opportunity below!
MEMBER BENEFIT PARTNER MESSAGE
•TMP Energy Solutions: Another Way to Save On Your Energy Bills!
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM BELLOMO FUELS
•Serving New Jersey since 1910 -- Over 100 years of supplying gasoline retailers like YOU!
POLITICAL PARTICIPATON: THE NJGCA PAC
•Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!
THE MEMBER TOOL BOX
•On the NJGCA Homepage
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
LUKOIL DEALER MEETING
MASS-ACTION ON RIGHT TO REPAIR
EXTENDING THE BUSH TAX CUTS
SYNTHETIC DRUG BUSTS CONTINUE
Any Lukoil dealers will be receiving a letter from me in the next few days inviting them to a meeting to discuss the horrible pricing and image conditions. Several dealers have requested that I intervene and try to find a way to stop Lukoil from continuing these practices. The meeting is scheduled for August 16 at the Holiday Inn National Conference Center in East Windsor at 10AM. If you are a Lukoil dealer and do not receive my invitation that means that somehow your address slipped thru the cracks. Please Attend and RSVP to us here at NJGCA.
If you had told me a year ago that the Massachusetts Right to Repair Act would be making these kinds of headlines around the nation, I wouldn’t have believed you. And yet this week has seen some unexpected – and down right surprising – events unfold in New England.
Earlier this year, Massachusetts legislators agreed to put an initiative on the November ballot on whether to pass Right to Repair in the Bay State. Late on Tuesday, however, a compromise deal was struck, a revised Right to Repair bill was passed by the Legislature, and the measure is currently awaiting Governor Deval Patrick’s signature. This was done because opponents of Right to Repair feared the 85% approval in polls showing that the public would overwhelmingly approve the measure. The car dealers and manufacturers agreed to this compromise.
What was the compromise? The new bill would still require car companies to make diagnostic and technical information available to independent repair. Nevertheless, in order to get automakers and their allies to agree to that stipulation, lawmakers decided to give carmakers until 2018 to comply with the law – three years longer than what was already approved for the November ballot question. Furthermore, automakers will also be permitted to relay that information to repair shops through a wider array of technologies (apparently the original bill authorized only a handful of ways in which carmakers could circulate the data).
Right to Repair proponents and opponents applaud the compromise. Though, in an ironic twist, both sides must now cooperate on a new public-relations campaign to kill the November ballot initiative that each side has spent millions promoting! This surprising turn of events stems from the fact that November’s ballot question cannot legally be removed and must still face voter approval. Since the details in the ballot measure are different than those reached in the compromise, if the ballot measure should pass this November, it would supersede the newly-negotiated legislation passed by the Massachusetts legislature.
So what does Massachusetts’ action on Right to Repair mean for New Jersey and your repair shop?
As you know, we successfully lobbied the Legislature to get Right to Repair passed in the General Assembly in October 2008. Unfortunately, its passage came so close toward the end of that Legislative Session and the bill died before it could be heard in the State Senate. Yet, thanks to the Massachusetts Legislature and Governor Patrick’s (eventual) signature, these events will give me new weapons to convince Trenton to act on our Right to Repair initiative! Action in the Bay State gives us the opening we need to put Right to Repair back on the front-burner and revive our efforts in New Jersey.
We’ve got some work to do, so I hope you’re ready to roll up your sleeves!
Last week, Congress revisited the topic of extending the Bush-era tax cuts. As you know, the idea of extending the cuts is more than just politicized, it’s been unfairly warped into a class-warfare issue.
The most recent action has the Senate Majority extending the cuts for everyone except the “wealthy” while increasing the capital gains rate. Conversely, the House Majority is pushing for a simple, one year extension of the tax cuts without any modification to rates.
The result has been a legislative impasse; meaning that Congress will go home for the fall campaign season without resolving the matter.
Some of you may be thinking what’s wrong with denying the “wealthy” a tax cut extension and hiking their rates a few points? I guess that would depend on your definition of “wealthy” and who gets thrown-in under that label. However, in reviewing the Senate bill language, the tax cuts wouldn’t be extended to any “wealthy” people making more than $250,000. In all likelihood, after considering your own business operations, that cap could very well include small business owners like YOU!
Though many in the public sphere apply the “rich” label broadly, the fact is that generating $250,000 as a small business owner does NOT make you rich. For many of you, once you pay your overhead and your employees, what’s left of that $250,000 may make you (at most) comfortably middle-class. If the numbers I’ve seen are correct and the tax cuts don’t get extended, it will cost you an additional $50 to $150 in federal taxes per week.
However, even if you don’t think it will affect you, think about your customers: Do any of them make more than $250,000? If so, how will taking from them affect the next time they patronize your shop, come in for repairs, or stop by to grab something quick to eat on the way to work?
Raising taxes in the middle of a down economy does no one any good, but especially small business owners like you! That about that the next time this issue is debated on the front page of your local paper!
Though it is now old news, I must revisit the topic of service stations and convenience stores selling synthetic drugs. Recently, the DEA and federal authorities conducted a raid to seize five million packets of synthetic drugs from shop owners. More than 90 people were arrested for continuing to sell these substances as baths salts, spices, and incense.
These substances mimic the effects of illegal drugs like marijuana, LSD, methamphetamine and cocaine. As such, they have recently been criminalized by federal authorities. You will remember that New Jersey took similar action over a year ago.
Though I thought this was a settled topic of discussion, it’s obviously still making news. I know honest NJGCA members comply with the law, but just in case, I’m merely giving you one more warning so I don’t read about one of our members getting busted in tomorrow’s paper. So if you haven’t ceased selling these products, you are breaking the law and I won’t do anything to defend you!
That’s all from me this week. Though it’s hard for me to stop once I get rolling, I’m making a concerted effort to make the Road Warrior shorter. I hope that came through in this week’s edition.
Thanks for listening – See you next week.
CLASSIFIEDS: FOR SALE & HELP WANTED!
After running an ad in the Road Warrior over the last month, NJGCA was able to assist a member in selling his equipment!
If you'd like to list equipment for sale, or have an open position you'd like to make other industry professionals aware of, please contact NJGCA at 973-376-0066 and let us help you get the word out!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
State utility plans solar power expansion
On Tuesday, New Jersey’s largest utility company announced that it will expand its solar power footprint. PSE&G plans to spend over $880M to expand its solar power infrastructure. As part of the program, the company will make loans available to customers who wish to install their own solar panel installations; customers could then pay back their loans by selling excess electricity produced on-site back to the electrical grid. Click above to read the full story.
Education: State considers “achievement districts” to combat failing schools
New Jersey Education Commissioner, Chris Cerf, is considering the implementation of separate "Achievement School District" for the state’s lowest-performing schools. Seen as a “last resort” option for failing schools, Cerf believes that the creation of such districts should be an alternative for schools that continually fail to educate their students. Under such a program, a “new district” would be created and have the power to close poor performing schools and reopen them with outside management. In doing so, new officials could suspend any collective bargaining agreement implement wide-ranging changes. Similar programs – known as “recovery districts” - have been utilized in Louisiana, post-Hurricane Katrina, as well as in Tennessee and Detroit. Click to read the full article.
Study: Internal combustion engine will remain a staple for automotive consumers
A new study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy reports that the internal combustion engine (ICE) will remain the dominant power sources in passenger cars until at least mid-century. The study finds that, though alternatives have become increasingly more popular and affordable, they are not likely to unseat ICE motors as the prevailing powertrain of choice until 2050. Two contributing factor to the longevity of the ICE motors are 1). attributed to alternative sources must still mature beyond the first or second generation in order to properly develop these technologies for expanded proliferation, and 2). the efficiency of ICE motors continues to rise as engineers squeeze more power and lower consumption on today’s engines.
Garden State has among the worst unemployment rate
According to new unemployment figures, New Jersey now has the fourth-worst unemployment rate in the nation. Only Nevada, Rhode Island and California have worse unemployment rates. However, analysts point to recent a recent uptick in the state’s employment numbers, when compared to the same time last year, as an encouraging sign.
-ALL CLASSES WILL BE HELD AT NJGCA HEADQUARTERS-
66 Morris Avenue - Springfield, NJ 07081 (Union County)
NEW JERSEY EMISSION INSPECTOR TRAINING
In order to be licensed as a Motor Vehicle Emission Inspector, you must complete this course and pass a “Written Exam” given by the State of New Jersey. NJGCA offers this training in a one day State approved training program that will provide a understanding of inspection related issues including EPA, Regulations, Safety, Diesel, Customer Service and the New Jersey State Specific Curriculum. This specially tailored NJGCA Inspector course fulfills all State requirements.
Class Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Lunch Served: 12:00pm (Pizza and Soda)
NJMVC test: 1:30pm
NJGCA Members - $250.00
Non-members - $300.00
“Manuals Included” - Payment is due upon registration. We accept credit cards.
PLUS: License Fee of $50.00 - Bring a check made payable to NJMVC
To register, contact Debbie Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-376-0066
PLEASE NOTE: FUTURE DATES WILL BE ADDED UPON REQUEST AND ACCORDING TO DEMAND. CONTACT DEBBIE at 973-376-0066 or DEBBIE@NJGCA.ORG TO LET HER KNOW YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TAKING A SPECIFIC CLASS. THIS WILL ALLOW US TO GAUGE YOUR NEEDS AND KEEP TRACK OF THOSE WISHING TO PARTICIPATE!!
MEMBER BENEFIT PARTNER MESSAGE
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 require12 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 Phil Apruzzi 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 Phil Apruzzi at 973-376-0066 or email Phil at email@example.com. Mention that you are interested in saving money on your energy bills. NJGCA & TMP Energy Solutions will handle all the rest.
POLITICAL PARTICIPATON: THE NJGCA PAC
DEFENDING OUR MEMBERS.
PROTECTING YOUR INTERESTS.
ANSWER THE CALL & CONTRIBUTE TODAY!!
Promoting our agenda in Trenton is of utmost importance to NJGCA and our members.
To truly understand the importance of supporting our allies, consider our successes in Trenton:
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.
We defeated BELOW COST SELLING
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.
PLEASE SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO:
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. ?
THE MEMBER TOOL BOX
MEMBER SAVINGS PAGE
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!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE ARCHIVE
Need to catch up on events? Want to see what's going on? Find out here!