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September 3, 2020
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  

Of course, the big (but not entirely unexpected) news that we learned Friday afternoon is the plan to increase the gas tax starting October 1st. I have already spoken to the press based on previous experience since this law was passed in 2016. See the below articles for the most recent press on this most recent gas tax announcement:
NJ 101.5: Double Whammy? Stations Worry Over Gas And Cigarette Tax Hikes

Fox Business: New Jersey Gas Tax to Rise by Nearly 10 Cents, Will Rank Among Highest In Nation
NJ.com: N.J. Gas Tax To Rise 9.3 Cents a Gallon On Oct. 1
Transport Topics: New Jersey to Hike Gasoline, Diesel Tax to Offset Consumption Drop
Shorebeat: N.J. Gas Tax to Rise 9.3 Cents per Gallon in October, Administration Announces
See below for the two Press Releases NJGCA released to the media to bring attention to the detrimental effects of another gas tax increase in New Jersey:
Huge Fuel Tax Increase a Huge Mistake
Huge Fuel Tax Increase a Huge Mistake: Edition II: New Jersey Raises Gas Tax - New York Receives a Windfall of Revenue
We strongly believe that the governor and Treasurer do have discretion to abandon this plan, even though the law says that a revenue shortfall triggers an increase to the tax. We are letting every legislator know how this makes New Jersey more uncompetitive to surrounding states than we already are. Additionally, there is no floor stocks tax on gas and diesel, meaning you won't have to pay tax on any gallons you have in the ground when the clock strikes midnight October 1st. Under the current circumstances, there is reason to increase this tax because of the serious revenue shortfall, however, in the current climate we strongly believe that the governor should forgo this increase and make due with the revenues that do remain. It comes down to the influence of the unions and the construction trades that are heavily affecting this decision. If the revenue from the gas tax is not there, the work dries up on road and bridge construction and repair.
The budget committees are set to start meeting on this next week. Look for an Action Alert on this in the next couple of days. We need members to bombard the Legislature and the governor.  

The Trump tax cut is not properly labeled.  It is a tax deferment. The Executive Order imposed by Trump in early August allows the secretary of Treasury to defer some payroll tax obligations. Specifically, employees may defer their social security tax obligation if they are paid less than $4,000 before taxes per bi-weekly pay period, while employers contribute their portion for each worker. The deferred amounts won't incur penalties or interest, according to Trump's order, however, deferred payroll taxes must be repaid between Jan. 1, and April 30, 2021. Any tax that isn't repaid within that window will be subject to interest and penalties, therefore, we have learned that most small employers are opting out of this deferment. For starters, it raises the question with me of what if an employee leaves the business before January 1st, will employers still be on the hook for those taxes with interest and penalties? I plan to get more detailed on this in the October Voter Guide issue of the On the Road.
I have said it before and I'll say it again: Most bad policies adopted in New Jersey begin their momentum in either California or New York, and the menthol cigarette ban in California adopted this week is no exception; we have to keep our eye on this. We have fought against this for the last several years successfully, but it keeps coming back as more states tighten restrictions on tobacco. We know there is confusion in the legislature on the different anti-tobacco laws. California making a move like this just gives them the impetus to start the same efforts again in New Jersey.
You may have noticed an article written by Sound Payments in the latest issue of the On the Road newsletter. Sound Payments has joined our MBP program and is focused on assisting members come into compliance by next April with EMV requirements. Here's a press release that they just released regarding their work around the country to help dealers into compliance.
September's PIF class is full at this time. If you are still interested in taking the class, please email nick@njgca.org so we can plan to put another class together quickly this fall.
Be Well -  
Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

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

Two-Day Emissions Inspector Training Class
September 16th & 17th, 2020

After a long delay due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, NJGCA is pleased to announce that our training classes will resume! If you, a colleague, or an employee technician wishes to become a NJ Emissions Inspector, we can help and now is your chance! NJGCA will offer a two-day class with all the information and training you need to become a NJ Emissions Inspector.
On day one you will receive in-class instruction from NJGCA's instructor. We will break for lunch (provided), and the State will administer the written test in the afternoon. On day two will go over the hands-on test at an emission inspection location to fully prepare you for the hands-on test.
In light of the current crisis, and to protect both students and staffers, all participants must wear facemasks at all times while on the premises and respect social-distancing guidelines.




  News Around The State  

Small-Business Failures Loom as Federal Aid Dries Up
The United States faces a wave of small-business failures this fall if the federal government does not provide a new round of financial assistance - a prospect that economists warn would prolong the recession, slow the recovery and perhaps enduringly reshape the American business landscape. As the pandemic drags on, it is threatening even well-established businesses that were financially healthy before the crisis. If they shut down or are severely weakened, it could accelerate corporate consolidation and the dominance of the biggest companies. . .Now that aid is largely gone, even as the economic recovery that took hold in the spring is losing momentum. The fall will bring new challenges: Colder weather will curtail outdoor dining and other weather-dependent adaptations that helped businesses hang on in much of the country, and epidemiologists warn that the winter could bring a surge in coronavirus cases. As a result, many businesses face a stark choice: Do they try to hold on through a winter that could bring new shutdowns and restrictions, with no guarantee that sales will bounce back in the spring? Or do they cut their losses while they have something to salvage?

Ciattarelli Hits Murphy Over Gas Tax Hike
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli launched an attack at Gov. Phil Murphy after the incumbent said he was unaware of a 9.3 cent increase to the state's gasoline tax announced Friday when he delivered his revised budget address last Tuesday. "When asked if he was aware of the gas tax increase when he presented his budget, his response was: '... I knew of it sometime - maybe a day or two - before, I can't actually recall, but it has nothing to do with the budget. It's not in my control. I have literally nothing to do with it,'" Ciattarelli said. "This is outrageous."

California Bans Menthol Cigarettes
The California legislature Friday passed a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes following a 34-0 vote in the state Senate, the Wall Street Journal reports. The ban also covers all other flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Gov. Gavin Newsome has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the bill. The ban would take effect on January 1. In June, Massachusetts became the first state to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products at convenience stores, gas stations and other retailers. The products can only be purchased for on-site consumption at licensed smoking bars. The U.S. House of Representatives in March passed a bill banning traditional flavored tobacco products-menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars and smokeless tobacco. But the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate hasn't introduced a companion bill. "The more of the U.S. population already under a menthol ban, the more political cover for Congress to do the same-which I think could happen in 2021 if the Senate flips," Stefanie Miller, managing director at investment adviser FiscalNotes Markets, told the Journal.

Why Your Gas Tax Will Rise 9.3 Cents A Gallon -- And N.J.'s New Ranking Compared To All The States
In just over a month, drivers will shell out more than 50 cents for state taxes on every gallon of gasoline they pump in New Jersey. Only three states charge more. . . Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, C-Store, Automotive Association, warned the 9.3-cent increase will devastate station owners, particularly those along the border with New York. "We have zero competitive advantage over New York," he said. "We've already lost enough gallons to them from previous increases." Risalvato has warned the state is caught in a loop wherein higher gas taxes here depress consumption, which then forces state officials to levy fresh gas taxes each fall. "It is costing New Jersey $190 million a year in revenues that we've lost because of gallons that are going to, mostly New York, but New York and Delaware," he said.

Oroho Tells Murphy To Use His Executive Power To Stop Gas Take Hike
The top Republican on the State Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee wants Gov. Phil Murphy to use his vast executive authority to stop a gas tax increase his administration announced on Friday. . . "It's almost unbelievable for the governor to now suggest that preventing a gas tax increase when many families are in economic crisis is the one thing he can't do by executive order," Oroho said.  "Considering his own executive actions kept people home and off the roads artificially depressing gas consumption, drivers shouldn't be penalized."

Treasury Announces Change in Gas Tax Rate Effective October 1
After a thorough review of fuel consumption statistics and consultation with the Legislative Budget and Finance Officer, the Department of the Treasury announced on Friday that lower fuel consumption trends, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, will necessitate a gas tax increase of 9.3 cents per gallon in order to ensure compliance with the 2016 law that requires a steady stream of revenue to support the state's Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) program. Under the 2016 law (Chapter 57) signed by Governor Christie, New Jersey's TTF program is required to provide $16 billion over eight years to support critical infrastructure improvements to the state's roadways and bridges.  In order to ensure the state has the funds necessary to support these projects, the law dictates that the Petroleum Products Gross Receipt (PPGR) tax rate must be adjusted accordingly to generate roughly $2 billion per year. 



  Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices  
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.


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  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  

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