Phone: 732-256-9646

Mon-Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Fwd: Road Warrior: Auto Convention, Gas Tax & EV Fee, DC Advocacy, MVC Sting Cars

March 21, 2024

Automotive Convention

Over the weekend NJGCA attended the AASP's annual tradeshow and auto exposition in the Meadowlands–NORTHEAST. As always they put on a successful event with strong attendance and a full show floor. We had members stop by our table to say hello, some long-time members and hopefully some new ones. Did you attend? What did you think? Email or call Joe at 732-256-9646 and let us know. Check out some pictures from the event below.

Joe with MBP Lou Puglisi, are you avoiding credit card fees with our program?

Some of the team at World Insurance, are you taking advantage of our exclusive Workers Comp Program?

Gas Tax Increase & EV Fee Passes Legislature

Continuing along the legislative process at record speed, the legislation to fund the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) with an increase in the motor fuels tax and a new fee on EVs passed the Assembly 49-28 and the Senate 24-14 on Monday. Generally, the vote split with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed, although there were a small number of Democrats from South Jersey who voted against it and a few Republicans who voted for it. Republican leadership tried to push an alternative plan that would have funded the roads without a tax increase, but legislative leadership just wanted to get the bill done as fast as possible, with the hope voters will forget about the tax increase. Gov. Murphy was posting pictures of himself posing with the union workers who were in the Statehouse pushing for passage of the bill, so we can expect to him to sign it into law shortly.

Under the language of the bill, there should be no change in tax rate this October 1st, instead the rate will be increased on January 1st. The advocates have claimed it will be 1.9¢ a gallon, but we expect it to be closer to 3.5¢ a gallon. There will be NO floor stocks tax on existing gallons in the ground when the rates are increased, so have no fear of that burden. 

Several of the environmental groups, including their champion Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex), expressed serious concern that the new registration fee on battery EVs will be the highest in the nation at $250, rising to $290 in four years. When someone buys or leases a new car, they pay four years of registration fees upfront, so EVs come July 1st will be $1,000 more expensive than they are currently. Combine that with the Governor's budget proposal to repeal the sales tax exemption for EVs, and a new EV will be nearly $4,000 more expensive upfront in the near future.


Last week NJGCA attended the annual “Day on the Hill” put together by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). NACS has been leading the fight for much of the last decade against the absurd level of credit card interchange fees that Visa, MasterCard, and the big banks force on retailers. Credit card fees are seven times higher in the US than Europe. The Credit Card Competition Act is compromise legislation that if enacted would lower credit card fees for all businesses. It's never been closer to getting passed, and support for it is bipartisan. We even heard directly from the two Senate sponsors. Eric led the New Jersey team in meeting with representatives from six of our state's congressional delegation to advocate for this bill. 

Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-Bergen), second from left

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), sponsor of this bill and the law that has kept debit fees low the last 15 years

Sen Doc Marshall (R-KS), sponsor of the bill. Big banks have spent millions in advertising against him, but he has remained a vocal supporter.

Warning-Uptick in Undercover Sting Car Activity

We have recently heard from members stating they have seen an uptick in MVC “sting car” activity over the last month.

For those new to the emission inspector game, a “sting car” is an “undercover” vehicle driven by an MVC staffer. They periodically come to PIF locations unannounced and ask for an inspection to be performed. In doing so they watch the inspector to see how they are conducting the inspection, note deficiencies or irregularities, and then later warn the inspector about what they did wrong. Sometimes the warnings are done verbally, but most often they are given “officially”, with a formal write-up and paperwork attached. That said, if anything missed or overlooked during the inspection is especially egregious, there is typically a formal citation with a fine and license suspension included.

One facet that has been regularly folded into a sting car visit is the “mystery” variable.  That is, there is either something wrong with the vehicle, credentialed paperwork (registration, driver’s license, insurance, license plate, vehicle inspection sticker, etc), or the undercover staffer says something misleading to throw off the inspector. Most of the time, this is done through a “hidden” flaw.  Past examples have included a check engine light that should be illuminated (but MVC took out the bulb, and the inspector doesn’t note it on the inspection, even if the computer points it out to the inspector); or a vehicle is presented without a catalytic converter (or one that has been tampered with, and the inspector doesn’t see, notice, or mention it).  

In the most recent member observations, there seems to be a Dodge Charger, Dodge Avenger, or older Pontiac sedan visiting shops without a functional catalytic converter. In attempting to trip up inspectors, a hollowed-out catalytic converter or resonator is welded in place of a functioning converter. Normally, an inspector visually looks for a converter on the vehicle, and the inspection equipment (when plugged into the vehicle’s OBDII port) will communicate with the vehicle’s emission control systems to scan for errors. The computer will then notify the inspector that there is a problem. Whether inspectors are failing to visually look for the catalytic converter or are failing to notice the computer noting there is an issue with the emission control systems, we do not know.

Regardless, it is clear that a number of inspectors are getting fined for this “mystery” variable and are not following the right inspection steps.

Every inspector should strive to conduct their inspections properly and consistently to avoid violations and fines. But sometimes a quick “cheat sheet” of “procedural reminders” should be consulted to make sure you’re sticking to the script. This is especially important when you are doing 10 things at once, are distracted or overwhelmed, and a vehicle shows up on a Saturday asking for an inspection without first making an appointment (which, anecdotally, seems to be when most of the MVC sting cars pay shops a visit).

That situation is ripe for a violation, so be on the lookout and don’t let this happen to you!

Have you been visited by a sting car or noticed how they tamper with a vehicle to trip you up? Let us know, and send us the details! You can send a note along to with your comments and observations. 

Interested in Selling or Buying a Location?

Occasionally, we get asked by some members if they know anyone who might be interested in buying their location. We are always happy to run ads for members, but occasionally some potential sellers are skittish about revealing that they are thinking about selling their location, in part to avoid letting their employees, suppliers, and competitors know they may be on the market. If possible, we want to encourage good members of the association to connect with each other rather than getting stuck with some of the snakes out there. If you are either interested in looking for a recommendation for a buyer, or if you might be interested in expanding your operations to another location (depending on the price, area, etc), please reach out to and let us know to keep you in mind, or perhaps even recommend a business or two. 

Reminder: New MBP Announcement – Reit Lubricants Joins NJGCA

The NJGCA Member Benefit Partner (MBP) program is a central facet in serving our Association members, and a practical tool for small business owners seeking quality goods-n-services at a reasonable price. 

That said, the program is not static, and we are always looking to improve it.  Sometimes this means we stumble across a unique outfit that we think you could benefit from. Other times, we hear from members telling us of the good experience they have with a particular company, then ask us to recruit them into the program for all members to take advantage of. 

The above in mind, we wanted to update members with news that Reit Lubricants Company has joined the Association as our newest MBP. 

Some members may already be familiar with Reit Lubricants and their products; but for the unacquainted, our newest MBP is a family-owned operation, supplying customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

What began as a family heating oil company in 1945 has evolved over three generations to become a multi-faceted business, including a dedicated lubricant division. They continue to be a family run business, offering patrons personal attention and exceptional customer service. 

Today, Reit offers lubricants, coolants, diesel exhaust fluids, and other specialty products to customers in the automotive-, industrial-, and commercial-industries.  Products are delivered in both package and bulk, from two centrally located facilities and through a company-owned fleet of 32 trucks.  That means orders are filled quickly and customers get their deliveries on time.

Reit distributes major brands like Phillips 66, Kendall, Chevron, and Lubriplate.  Orders are processed through a highly trained and professional sales team.  They have a very loyal customer base, and are proud of their hands-on approach with patrons.

As our newest MBPs, Reit is offering special pricing and promotions unique to Association members.  

If you would like to inquire about their products, offerings, pricing, and more, feel free to reach out to their two Sales Consultants, below:

Jon McNiece
Sales Consultant, assisting customers in Sussex, Passaic, Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Union, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Hunterdon & Warren Counties
P: 609-743-3418 

Jim Grady
Sales Consultant, assisting customers in Ocean, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, Cape May & Atlantic Counties 
P: 609-743-3417

Have any questions about this new MBP?  Do you have a suggestion for a new MBP?

Feel free to reach out to Joe (at or Nick (at with your questions or comments.

Rack Averages

Date Rack Avg Avg w Taxes Low Rack
03/14 243.04 $3.0374 234.93
03/15 244.48 $3.0518 235.53
03/18 246.82 $3.0752 236.58
03/19 244.83 $3.0553 236.41
03/20 241.80 $3.0250 232.90
Date Avg Retail Avg Margin Diesel Rack Avg
03/14 $3.18 0.18 278.61
03/15 $3.19 0.15 280.36
03/18 $3.23 0.18 285.83
03/19 $3.25 0.17 283.13
03/20 $3.27 0.22 276.76

Rack prices have increased about 20¢ a gallon in two weeks, but less than half that has been passed on in retail prices as average gross margins have shrunk to their lowest level in abtut18 months.  

News Worth Knowing:

Member Benefit Partner (MBP) Spotlight: Butler Sign Company

In February of 2022, a close associate of Salomone was faced with a family emergency that ultimately would have closed his business of 43 years. After a few late night sessions and in typical Salomone fashion, the company was purchased, retaining all equipment, employees, knowledge and industry experience. 

• Installation and Service of price changer signs
• Fabrication and Repair of damaged canopies
• Zoning and Permitting for ground up sign projects
• Installation, Maintenance and Service of:

– freestanding pylon signs
– building signs
– canopy signage and lighting
– underlighting, area lighting and architectural lighting
– fluorescent, LED, halogen, mercury vapor and LED retrofits for all lighting needs

Butler Sign Company has established relationships with Watchfire, Daktronics and Optec for digital signage and price changers. Butler Sign Company has also formed alliances with Everbrite, Blair and Pro Signs for fabrication on National Accounts. With the aptitude for custom one-off signage, and fulfilling the needs of regional accounts, the experienced staff and service techs are ready and willing to serve all your needs. Please contact us directly or reach out to Butler Sign Company for new work, service, maintenance or retrofits.

Contact: Edward De Zuzio 973-633-5757 

Available Real Estate

Station for Sale

Thriving High Profit Gas/Service Station close to Major Highway in Prime Location. 

This Exclusive Gas Station is the Sole Provider in the entire town, achieving a remarkable fuel profit of up to and sometimes over 1$ a gallon. Consistently selling 45,000 gallons monthly. Most fuel customers come from Highway so fuel prices do not have to be competitive. 

Also included with the Property is a Reputable High End Auto Repair Facility. Repair shop has all required Specialty and Diagnostic Tools for servicing mostly High End Vehicles. Advertising is no longer used do to an enormous Demand and large Customer Base. Repair Business has has potential for increased profitability and expansion, the business is open to experienced buyers for a possible partnership or profit sharing arrangement. Location is 1 out of 100. Fuel sales make 20-40K a month and repairs can do the same with the right operator. 

This one of a kind opportunity can include seller financing for those with High-Level Automotive or Gas Station Experience.

Contact Greg

Cape Harbor Shell

795 Route 109

Unit B

Lower Township, NJ, 08204

Contact: Jerry 609-425-8837 

Our Road Warrior newsletter is brought to you by the following Member Benefit Partners:

New Jersey Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association
615 Hope Road, Bldg. 2, 1st Floor
Eatontown, NJ 07724


Phone: 732-256-9646

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