If you cannot see the message, please click here
April 29, 2021
Follow NJGCA:

 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  











For those of you interested in obtaining your emissions license, there are still a few spots available for our ASE training next week, Tuesday May 4th. The purpose of this class is to recertify those with credentials that are expiring June 30th. We have it on good authority that there will be a more aggressive approach to making sure that shops and techs performing emission repairs are properly licensed, take advantage of this opportunity ASAP.


I'm not sure if you all have noticed a recent influx in news related to unemployment and hiring. Our industries have consistently had a crisis in hiring since well before the pandemic. However, it seems that other businesses are experiencing a hiring crisis, and the media is starting to notice. When I go to meet with legislators, especially lately, this is one of the topics of focus in our conversations. Now that this is in the news, they are certainly paying closer attention. This is in the news right now, but this is not necessarily breaking news for myself or for any of you currently experiencing this. Recently, we came upon an article that focused on the lack of truckers available to hire and how this has a possibility of causing fuel shortages this summer. I have had discussions for several years with distributors who are in our good favor describing the difficulties they are having finding and keeping qualified drivers to deliver gas to my members (their customers). If you have had difficulties hiring employees, please reach out to Michelle at michelle@njgca.org and let us know. This could be helpful in talking to legislators in the future so they may better understand what we are facing.


The pandemic has left the entire nation in a panic over budgeting, and New Jersey is no exception. Unfortunately, Governor Murphy made some decisions regarding the budget that may have long-term effects on our members. Last year at the height of the pandemic, the state agreed to borrow $4.3 billion in federal aid and borrowing measures. When questioned on how this would be paid back, the state pointed to sales tax revenue and statewide property taxes as the main means to guarantee repayment, though there are other issues the state is facing that would make this plan difficult. And, in spite of the state having enormous cash available from the federal aid and revenues, early repayment of the $4.3 billion is not an option; these bonds were issued as noncallable, meaning they cannot be refunded until they mature in 13 years.

A recent op-ed from Regina Egea, President of the Garden State Initiative, says to look to our neighbors in Connecticut for a cutting-edge policy solution, enacting a first-in-the-nation statewide property tax. If enacted, the new statewide tax would be placed on commercial and residential property, with the first $300,000 of assessed value exempt from the tax. Therefore, a home with a market value of $500,000, for example, would mean an extra $50 assessment, while a homeowner with a $1 million house would pay about $400. This same formula could be replicated in our state, offering a "new" tax-revenue source to address their structural deficits and continue to spend beyond our means. Egea points out correctly that New Jersey homeowners refer to local property-tax bills as a second mortgage, since the burden often rivals or exceeds the monthly payments on their home purchase. With Trenton's inability to manage our state's fiscal affairs, taxpayers may well end up with a third mortgage in the form of a statewide property tax. Looking to solutions other states adopt will be an important advantage in updating our own methods to try to save the state from deficit. 


Many of you have done well in this pandemic while many of you have struggled to hang on. We have informed you of several grant and loan opportunities throughout this time to help our businesses continue to survive. However, I wouldn't want someone who doesn't need a grant to apply to it and get in trouble later on because it was determined you truly did not need it. It was recently brought to my attention by an astute member, that one of the qualification for receiving a Phase 4 CARES grant is that the business "Has a material financial need that cannot be overcome without the grant of emergency relief funds at this time (e.g., does not have significant cash reserves that can support the SME during this period of economic disruption)." Though we have already sent out several notices, it is important enough I should mention that if you are not financially in need of funding, you need not apply. Although many of you could desperately use these funds, we are well aware that many of you are doing very well and do not need them. The bottom line is this: If you don't need it, don't apply, or it will come back to haunt you! 

Additionally, people who pre-registered but did not get grant money in the last phase can apply starting Monday, May 3rd at 9 AM. If you previously obtained funding through CARES grants, then you don't apply until Wednesday, May 12th at 9 AM


Another more optimistic area of interest that we have been seeing an increase in news in are electric vehicles. We mentioned in last week's Road Warrior that several states, including New Jersey are setting deadlines to stop the sale of gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. This week, I continue to read more news about the coming tidal wave of EVs. If you have the time, please read this excellent article that came in my inbox earlier this week regarding a journalist that had the opportunity to ride in luxury EVs for a week in New Jersey. If you have not done so already, now is the time to take an honest look around your property to see if adding EV charging to your businesses is right for you. Contact our office, we can help you figure out the process to determine if you should invest in electric charging. I can tell you up front, a big part of what you should consider in making this decision has to be that at some point, maybe not tomorrow or even years from now, but eventually, fossil-fueled vehicles are not going to be on the road. Many of you have contacted me about the efforts of state and federal governments to come up with mandates that call for the end of manufacturing and selling gasoline powered vehicles. An overriding factor is that even if the government does not mandate the elimination of gas powered vehicles, the manufacturers are voluntarily stating as a matter of both public policy and what's currently trending in business their intentions to end the manufacture of gas powered vehicles and move entirely to electrification. Either our businesses must adjust to accommodate this growing trend, or be left in the dust.


There has not been much discussion on tobacco issues during the COVID crisis, but just this week federal efforts have been put forth to reduce the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes, close loopholes in the tax code, establish the first federal electronic cigarette tax and increase the tobacco tax rate for the first time in a decade. The FDA also recently announced a plan to move forward banning menthol cigarettes. While the vaping issue has quieted down, it doesn't mean efforts are totally dead to stop the sale of cigarettes in our country and legislators see punishing tobacco sellers as a means to collect. We have an eye on these issues and will get involved as necessary. 


Gift cards have now become the new favorite way to scam people. I read about this only days after I came close to being scammed myself! Here's what happened: I received an email from a former member (now retired) that I had become friends with over the years. He sent me what seemed like a very genuine email asking if I would do him a favor. I replied politely that I would happily do the favor depending what it was. He asked me to purchase a $400 gift card to send to a family member of his as he was away and would not be back for another week. He even offered to reimburse me. It was then that I reached out to this person and learned he had been hacked and not to respond. After learning more about this scam, because gift cards are anonymous, they are highly desirable for scammers and can be traded online for bitcoin. For those of you who sell gift cards, talk to your employees about keeping an eye out for this fraud and provide training if possible. The Federal Trade Commission also published a Stop Gift Card Scams Toolkit which you can download, print and post close to where you sell gift cards. 

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
April 27th & 28th, 2021

If you, a colleague, or an employee technician wishes to become a NJ Emissions Inspector, 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.

We are offering the class: 
Tuesday, April 27th, 7:00am to 4:00pm & Wednesday, April 28th, 12:30

Email Training@njgca.org if you are interested in signing up


ASE-Prep Training (for NJ ASE-track ERT/ETEP Re-Certification)

NJGCA will offer an ASE-prep class for Emission Repair Technicians (ERTs) seeing to continue their existing accreditation. Students will meet twice a week for the entire five-week period (ten sessions), and review the required material for the A6, A8, and L1 exams. While we anticipate most students would appreciate preparing for all three tests together, we can also accommodate technicians who only need to prepare for a specific section.

All classes will meet in Wall Township, from approximately 9:00am to 3:00pm, on the following dates:

May Dates:

Class 1 - Tuesday, 5/4

Class 2 - Thursday, 5/6

Class 3 - Tuesday, 5/11

Class 4 - Thursday, 5/13

Class 5 - Wednesday, 5/19

Class 6 - Thursday, 5/20

Class 7 - Tuesday, 5/25

Class 8 - Thursday, 5/27

June Dates

Class 9 - Wednesday, 6/2

Class 10 - Thursday, 6/3



NJGCA Members: $1,995.00 (plus the price of books)

Non-Members: $2,195.00 (plus the price of books)

Email Training@njgca.org if you are interested in signing up

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire about additional class dates



  News Around The State  


Murphy: Don't Travel To India Right Now

Gov. Phil Murphy is recommending New Jerseyans defer any trips to India as the country faces a virus surge that's seen it report hundreds of thousands of new cases each day. "I think right now we would say, without having checked with anybody, it's a bad idea to travel to India right now, and that pains me to say that because it's a country I've been to many times in my life, most of them as business but some as pleasure and one as official state visit as governor," Murphy said.


Our Tolls Are Paying For NJ Transit's Failures | Opinion

A dysfunctional Motor Vehicle Commission operation since last July. An unnecessary gas tax last August. Double-digit toll hikes in September. How much is New Jersey's middle class expected to take lying down? The latest indignity? As NJ.com's Larry Higgs reported last week, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) board is scheduled to approve a tenfold increase and divert $1.22 billion in toll money to the operating budget of NJ Transit over the next three years. Since last year, motorists on the Turnpike and Parkway have been paying higher tolls of 36% and 27% respectively under the promise of road improvements. The increases were approved by the board and Gov. Phil Murphy at the height of the pandemic in a truncated process that was roundly criticized for a lack of public review and transparency. As Senator Kip Bateman rightfully noted at the time, "Bureaucrats who control our highways are quietly fast-tracking massive toll hikes on New Jersey drivers when nobody is looking... There has been nothing transparent about the process."


Is N.J. Ready For The Electric Vehicle Revolution? I Drove Around For A Week In EVs To Find Out.

In early April, I drove around for NJ Advance Media for a week in two electric vehicles (an Audi e-tron was the other) to see how viable life in the Garden State is with an EV. Turns out, going electric in New Jersey is pretty viable, if - and this is a massive if - you can charge at home. If not, you've either got to be really patient or really environmentally conscious.


Fulton Leaving Motor Vehicles To Join Biden Administration

The Biden administration has picked Sue Fulton, the embattled chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission, for a post at the U.S. Department of Defense. Fulton was named as Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. That creates a new vacancy in Murphy's cabinet seven months before the gubernatorial election, if Fulton is confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Fulton will remain in her state post until the Senate confirms her.


One Disastrous Democratic Welfare Program Is Causing A Hiring Crisis

A McDonald's franchise in Florida is so desperate for workers that it started offering people $50 just to show up for an interview - and it still isn't getting enough applicants. Why? In part because the system of ultragenerous unemployment benefits perpetuated by President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion-plus coronavirus legislation "is truly creating the incentive to not work right now," the franchise owner told Business Insider. "And, how do you blame somebody? You can make more money on unemployment [than from working]." The fiasco facing this McDonald's isn't an outlier. It's an acute example of a national trend. Millions of people remain on unemployment benefits while there are nearly 7.4 million job openings. And there's no shortage of employers looking to hire. A recent survey found that 40% of small businesses are struggling to fill open positions, some even after increasing wages on offer.


Biden Urges U.S. Automakers to Ramp Up EV Production

This week, President Joe Biden announced his goal to have the United States surpass China in electric vehicle production, Reuters reports. "We have a lot of catching up to do, but we're going to be in a position where we ought to own the future," Biden said during a virtual tour of Proterra, an electric bus and battery manufacturing facility. "We ought to be the single most significant suppliers of electric buses and vehicles in the world before it's over. Right now, we're running way behind China." In China, auto manufacturers sold around 1.3 million passenger EVs last year, compared with 328,000 in the US, according to Canalys. The U.S. president would like to shell out $174 billion to increase manufacturing and sales of zero-emission cars and buses, as well as add EV charging stations. That proposal also includes $100 billion for consumer rebates and around $45 billion to electrify some school buses and transit vehicles.



  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.




  Member Benefit Partner Message Board  








  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  

Property For Sale: Gasoline Retail and Auto Repair Facility. Family Owned and Operated Since 1976. FOR SALE - Inquire via EMAIL for details: MontvilleValero@gmail.com

Parts For Sale: Incon TS-1000 tank monitor works well just taken out of service. Printer is aprox 2 months old. Also, Incon 8, tank probes. System replaced because on an Exxon upgrade. Call John Twin Towers Exxon (201) 224-8444