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October 7, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  










Everybody is having a hard time getting employees and unfortunately, a lot of people are resorting to cheating. We recently came across this article on several car washes and oil change shops that owe their employees back wages for not paying minimum wage and/or overtime for several years. I have said this a number of times in the last few weeks, but again, every time a business does something like this they are cheating you, our honest member, as it's making it more difficult for you to pay and satisfy employees. Many of you have contacted me in the past and especially in recent weeks to tell me of situations you know of where competitors are not properly paying their employees and it's hurting your ability to hire help. If an employer is paying someone cash under the table that hinders your ability to hire the same person and pay legitimate wages. We continue to monitor these situations and encourage you to let us know if you know of any businesses that are following these practices. 



During my tenure here I have never made it a secret of my desire to eradicate bad apples that have practices that defraud motorists from our industry. This is very simple: If a gas station on one side of the street is cheating and keeping his price a few pennies less than yours, he's stealing your customers and still making profits because he's cheating. Not only does the motorist get cheated, but our honest members get cheated and I cannot have that. Any time that I discover this kind of cheating is occurring, I will turn in the dishonest retailer because my job is to protect the honest retailer. We recently sent out a press release to the media to praise all agencies involved in this investigation and reinforce our viewpoint that situations such as these shed a bad light on our entire industry, and NJGCA members are honest and knowledgeable on these laws. 



I'm getting a lot of calls from the press this week because motorists want to know why they haven't seen the 8 cent decrease at the pumps. The answer is very simple: Everyone has inventory in the ground that they paid the higher tax on, and that inventory has to be sold before new inventory with a lower tax can be applied. However, in the current situation that's not going to happen because as you all know, the wholesale price since September 30th has gone up 16 cents a gallon. 

We also have reports that Sunoco's invoice system has malfunctioned and may have continued to charge the New Jersey gas tax at the higher rate. Please check your invoices if this has happened you should contact Sunoco immediately to let them know. If you have difficulty getting this corrected, contact joe@njgca.org



Governor Murphy signed legislation this week expanding the scope of the Law Against Discrimination (LAD), which provides protections against age discrimination by employers among other things. This law was recently expanded to include protections for people who are over the age of 70. Due to the current economic climate, many are working well past the retirement age of 65, and this law covers those employees. This shouldn't really be an issue in our businesses. Those of you that have older and retired employees have all confirmed how reliable they are and how good their work ethic generally is and that they are desired employees, therefore I don't think legislation is needed to make sure you do not discriminate against workers over 70 years old. 



If you are not taking advantage of the Employee Retention Credit, you may be leaving money on the table! The refund for 2021 is 70% of $10,000 eligible wages per employee per quarter. Max credit $7,000 per employee per quarter ($28,000 annually per employee) and is applied toward your Federal Tax Liability. PPP wages for the second draw are ineligible for the ERC calculation, but the excess wages are. Don't wait as this program is time sensitive. We will be sending an email with more detailed information shortly, but if you are interested in the meantime, please contact Scott Seidman at our MBP Heartland Payroll Systems at scott.seidman@e-hps.com.



We are less than a month away from industry week and hoping to gather NJGCA shop owners by inviting our auto repair members to SEMA/APPEX in November. This conference is vital in order to build on the professionalism that is required to run a shop today. It is beneficial for colleagues to be together, learn together, and have fun together. We are building all of those things into what is known as industry week in Las Vegas or the SEMA/APPEX shows. I'm sure many of you not only have heard of these two shows but may have already attended in previous years. We want NJGCA members to attend together and even bring your spouse! We recently included details for a group trip we are organizing to Red Rock Canyon, 7 Magic Mountains, Boulder City & Hoover Dam a day before the conference officially kicks off in order to build collegiality amongst our members. If you are interested in more information on the conference and any other events we are organizing that week, please contact Joe Ocello at joe@njgca.org. See the announcement we emailed to members yesterday and register HERE.


Be Well -  

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

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

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire about potential trainings and class dates



  News Around The State  



Why Gas Prices Didn't Drop With NJ Gas Tax - And Now Are Rising

"I'll condemn anybody in this business anytime they need to be condemned. I have zero tolerance for dishonesty and cheating and whatnot," Risalvato said. "But, not lowering the price because the gas tax went down is not one of those things that they have done. It's not ethically wrong, morally wrong, legally wrong in any capacity." The gas tax went down for fuel delivered starting Oct. 1, but Risalvato said stations still had thousands of gallons of inventory in their underground tanks on which they'd paid the higher rate. "They had to buy it with the tax, so they can't just go out and drop their price because the tax went down because the gas that they're selling, they paid the tax on," Risalvato said.



NJ Reacts To Idea Of Pumping Their Own Gas 

New Jersey has no problem with stores going self-checkout unless of course, it's the gas stations. For some unknown reason, New Jersey remains adamant about not letting us simply put a credit card into the pump and fill our own tanks like all the other states get to do. Sal Risalvato is the executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline and Convenience Automotive Association. He tells me on New Jersey 101.5 that if we were able to pump our own gas, we could save up to 13 cents a gallon pumping it ourselves. "At the pump, gas today, based on the cost of labor, would be about 15 cents (a gallon less)", Risalvato said on my show back in October. "And I say in some instances 20 cents a gallon less. So if you went to a self-serve pump, you'd be saving 15 or 20 cents a gallon", Risalvato stated.



Vaccine Mandate May Worsen Trucker Shortage

The ongoing truck driver shortage has touched nearly every industry in the U.S. and abroad, and the oil-field services industry in particular is worried that the coming Biden Administration mandate for U.S. COVID-19 vaccinations or regular testing will prompt highly sought after truckers to quit, the Wall Street Journal reports. Oil-field firms told the Journal that the majority of the truck drivers who haul fracking supplies, along with field-level workers, aren't inoculated against COVID-19 and are wary of the shots. Many see quitting their jobs as their only option.



N.J.'s Gas Tax Goes Down Friday. We're Not Kidding.

On Friday, the state's gasoline tax drops 8.3 cents to 42.4 cents per gallon. The decrease comes after the state hit drivers with a 9.3 cents a gallon hike last October to offset hundreds of millions in revenue lost when drivers stayed home and off the roads during the coronavirus pandemic. But fuel consumption during 2021 fell in line with last year's projections, according to the state. That allowed for an adjustment this year. The lower tax could ease high payments at the pump. The state average cost of gasoline is currently $3.22 per gallon, up more than $1 from $2.17 this time last year, according to the American Automobile Association. Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline-ConvenienceAutomotive Association, said the decrease could help New Jersey gas stations to recapture business they have lost to neighboring states. Following the 2016 hike, Risalvato said, New Jersey lost an estimated 400 million gallons each year from 2017 to 2019 to other states. 



'What Am I Going To Do?': When A Signing Bonus Can't Help The Jobless

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the $500 bonus idea Monday, a bid to jumpstart the state's economy. The state will pay for the bonus checks and additional subsidies for small businesses. Economists and business groups who say the economy needs help rebounding applauded the move. And it is expected to attract some workers who weren't rushing back to employment, like people who were hesitant to start a new job or still relying on money they saved from pandemic-era unemployment programs. But there's a swath of people who stand no chance to benefit from the program: single parents, caregivers, and people who weren't returning to jobs because of health concerns.



  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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