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December 15, 2022
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  

Oil Superfund Tax Returning Jan 1st

New Zealand Enacts Tobacco Ban

Healthcare Reminder – Time is Running Out!

Minimum Wage Increase Reminder

Potential Funding Opportunity

Oil Superfund Tax Returning Jan 1st

You may remember that in August, President Biden signed the “Inflation Reduction Act” (the slimmed down version of ‘Build Back Better’), which also brought back the Hazardous Substance Superfund Trust Fund tax on oil products. This is taxed at a rate of 16.4 cents per barrel of oil, on a per gallon basis for E10 gasoline, it comes out to about a third of a penny per gallon (0.352 cents). Technically, this fee is assessed much higher up the supply chain than us. However, some distributors may choose to just directly pass this cost on to retailers either as a separate line item or just by increasing the overall “taxes and fees” that are assessed when you buy gasoline and diesel wholesale. Other distributors absorb this as just the cost of doing business. You as a retailer don’t have any responsibility or need to collect or pay this to the government, but you should be aware that if starting January 1st, your per gallon rate from your distributor goes slightly up, this is the reason. You can read more about this HERE.

New Zealand Tobacco Ban

News from the other side of the world is that New Zealand has enacted a new policy permanently eliminating the ability to buy cigarettes for anyone born after January 1, 2009. Additionally, the legislation will also reduce the amount of nicotine allowed in smoked tobacco products and significantly cut the number of retailers able to sell tobacco. Anyone born after January 1, 2009 will never be legally allowed to purchase a tobacco product, no matter how old they are. This is an idea that’s been kicking around among activists for almost a decade, but now looks like New Zealand will be the first to actually make law. Perhaps most concerning is that 90% of the stores that do sell cigarettes will be banned from doing so the day the bill goes into effect. Ideas like this have a way of spreading; it’s likely we may see something like this proposed in the U.S., or maybe even at the state level here in New Jersey in the future. 

Of most concern is the aspect about restricting who can sell cigarettes. We know of policy that has passed at the city level in other states which seeks to restrict small businesses from being able to sell these products. Some politicians want to see stricter laws on who can sell certain products, even if it means many more small businesses will suffer. Some may be looking to reduce the number of convenience stores that will be able to sell tobacco immediately through licensing or complicated regulations. Needless to say, NJGCA will be closely monitoring any additional news on this. No doubt there are some state legislators that would like to do this, which would be a disaster for convenience stores. For a typical store, anywhere from a third to half of all sales come from cigarettes. To have the government come in and ban cigarettes would be disastrous and hypocritical, since these are often the same people who said that Prohibition failed for marijuana and liquor, but apparently they think it will work for tobacco. 

Health Insurance Reminder

If you haven’t finished your application with World Insurance, make sure you do so now if you want to have your new insurance cards in hand for January 1st. Almost everyone who has looked into this new option has been given quotes that save thousands of dollars per year. Here’s three real examples so far:

Auto Repair garage with one single employee on plan. Signed up for the top plan design. Saved over $11,500 a year in premiums!

Auto Repair garage and gas station with three employees (2 single, 1 husband/wife, 4 people total). Comparable plan to current one, saves over $18,000 a year in premiums!

Auto Repair garage with one employee and family. Comparable plan to current one, saves more than $10,000 a year in premiums!

We know that many of our members are actively investigating the new NJGCA health plan through World Insurance. If you are currently going through the process and definitely want to have a new insurance card in hand for January 1st you need to finish submitting info by the end of this week or Monday. Don’t lose out on this opportunity to save. Getting a quote is easy, click HERE to find out more, or email Joe Amato joeamatojr@worldinsurance.com.  

Minimum Wage Increase

It may not feel like it, but we are officially at the “end of the year” again, and with that comes our annual reminder to you that promptly on January 1st the state minimum wage will rise again. This year it will come out to $14.13 an hour for businesses with six or more employees. Due to inflation this year an additional 13 cents were added on to the original planned amount. We know many of you are paying over this amount to attract more employees, but if you are paying anyone less than the new minimum you will need to make sure you explicitly authorize your payroll company to make that change. Some think this change is made automatically but generally payroll companies will not change the wages unless you explicitly tell them to do so. For businesses with five or fewer employees and/or seasonal employers, the minimum wage will rise to $12.93 on January 1st (up from $11.90). Seasonal employers are defined as those for whom last year at least two-thirds of their gross receipts were received in a continuous period of 16 weeks or less. 

Potential Funding Opportunity 

The Association recently learned of a grant program that is being promoted by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). You (or a potential tenant for some commercial space you may own) would need to looking to either start a new lease, or extend a current lease while expanding space. 

The “Small Business Lease Grant” is designed to help small businesses secure new (or additional) commercial space. Any selected grant awardees will be provided with funds to cover a portion of their monthly lease payments.  The aim is to fuel small business growth, while also allowing currently vacant spaces to be actively utilized (and indirectly help commercial spaces retain/attract occupants). This grant opportunity, totaling $10 million, is funded through the NJ Economic Recovery Act of 2020.  Of the allocated funds, $4 million is earmarked for establishments located in Opportunity Zones. 

The terms and qualifications include the following: 

  • Program applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. 
  • Subleases are not eligible.
  • One application per business (applicants cannot terminate an existing lease to begin a new lease for the same footprint space).
  • The leased area must be between 250 to 10,000 square feet.  If a lease extension or renewal, an additional 250 square feet (minimum) must be secured. 
  • Grants awarded to qualifying small business owners will fund 20% of the annual lease cost.
  • Lease period must be a minimum of 5-years and include a first floor (street-level) space.  
  • Any lease must be executed within 12 months of the application. 
  • Applicants must meet SBA definition of a Small Business (as determined by employee count and NAICS code). 
  • Be in good standing with the Department of Labor and Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Certify at time of application that they are not in default of any other NJEDA or State assistance.

To learn more about the program (including full details, special terms, and exclusions) and submit an application, please CLICK HERE.

Be Well-

Your Association Staff



  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 615 Hope Road, Building 2, 1st Floor, Eatontown, NJ 07724

ASE Training Course - Reach Out Today!

Are you (or an employee) getting ready to take your A6, A8, or L1 in preparation to recertifying your Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through the State's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP)?  

We can help --- but we need to hear from you, first! 
NJGCA wants to hear from students interested in our ASE-prep training program, so we can gauge demand and schedule our next session series. 

As you know, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has always maintained a "dual-track" system to allow technicians to earn their Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through New Jersey's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP). In doing so, technicians were allowed to certify as ERTs through either an ASE-test track or an ETEP-educational class track. Starting on January 1, 2020, NJDEP amended the ETEP criteria, and the ETEP-educational class track was abolished.  

Today, only the ASE-test track remains, and all ERTs must certify or re-certify their credentials though ASE to remain in the Program. 

NJGCA has recently offered an ASE-prep class to help you get ready for the A6, A8, and L1. In doing so, students were welcome to participate in a ten-session preparatory class that covered material for all three ASE exams. We also had a handful of students who joined us only for the A8 or L1 sections.  

Once completed, students took their ASE exams with a local ASE-approved test proctor (NJGCA can train you to prepare for the ASE exams, but are not permitted to offer the actual exam - students must make these arrangements individually themselves). 

Building on that success, we are now seeking student participation in our next training series session. To make arrangements and organize a session, we need to hear from you! 

If you are interested, please email us at training@njgca.org ASAP. 

We'll record your interest, inquire on your availability, and schedule a class once we have a full complement of students.   

Only with your feedback can we gauge student headcount and participation.  

Please reach out to us today, and thank you for your interest! 

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



  News Around The State  


Automakers Like Ford And Gm Are Scrambling To Make EVs Cheaper As Battery Prices Rise For The First Time In Years

Electric car battery prices are rising for the first time in a decade, and that's a problem for automakers betting their futures on a shift away from the internal combustion engine. That increase — the effect of rising costs for battery ingredients like lithium, cobalt, and nickel, according to a new report from Bloomberg NEF — likely won't impact vehicle prices anytime soon, experts say. And it's probably a temporary bump: BNEF predicts prices will drop in 2024, as more lithium production comes online. Still, it's unwelcome news for automakers like GM and Ford, which are in the midst of an historic transition, as well as startup EV makers, all of which would like electric vehicles to produce profits sooner rather than later.  


With More Than 14,300 Vehicles Stolen In N.J. So Far This Year, Officials Push For Tougher Penalties

The cars were swiped from driveways and parking lots, some of them idling or unlocked with the key inside. Sometimes, they were taken at gunpoint and, worse, with a child tucked in the backseat. As New Jersey continues to grapple with a recent spike in car thefts since the pandemic, state lawmakers this week began advancing a series of proposals aiming to crack down on the problem. The four bills, approved Monday by the state Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee, would increase penalties for stealing vehicles in the state and outlaw certain tools used by thieves.


Oil Industry Exec Rips Biden Admin for 'Throwing Wet Blankets' At US Energy, 'Hurting' Pocketbooks

After Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry claimed the transition to renewable energy isn’t happening "fast enough," the executive of an oilfield service company ripped the Biden administration for trying to fix a supply crisis with "virtue signaling." "The administration just keeps throwing wet blankets at the industry, death by a thousand cuts," Canary CEO Dan Eberhart said in an appearance on "Mornings with Maria" Friday. "U.S. oil production is 10% lower than it was during the Trump administration, even with the higher oil price. Why is that? Because the administration is not being helpful and not trying to increase supply, and it's hurting consumers and they just don't seem to care." The Biden’s administration has been vocal in its support of a green energy future, with climate czar John Kerry noting at a Washington Post event Thursday that nations around the world need to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to green energy by "vast amounts" in order to stave off the potential future human and financial impacts of climate change


Settlement with E-Cigarette Company JUUL Makes NJ Teens Safer, State’s Attorney General Says

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin says he’s glad a lawsuit by his state is helping change “the behavior of a company that put kids at risk all across our country.” Platkin spoke with Gothamist a few days after 32 states and Puerto Rico announced a collective $435 million settlement with e-cigarette maker JUUL. If the terms are approved by a Mercer County Superior Court, New Jersey will receive nearly $34 million from the settlement by 2027. “It may go up a little bit if JUUL takes longer to pay,” Platkin said. The first installment would be due by the end of this year. The settlement comes after a two-year investigation that Platkin said “focused primarily on JUUL’s really horrendous conduct as it relates to the targeting of youth.” In addition to the financial terms, the agreement will force JUUL Labs to comply “with a number of strict terms that will severely limit their marketing and sales practices.”


NJ Gas Prices Are Lowest Since 2021

Gas prices have fallen in New Jersey to their lowest level in a year, and analysts predict continued declines. The statewide average for a gallon of regular gasoline is now $3.42, according to AAA. "Increasing supply and lower gasoline demand is pushing pump prices lower," says a AAA analysis. "As demand remains low and stocks grow, drivers will likely continue to see pump prices decrease through next week." In New Jersey, prices have fallen $1.63 per gallon since reaching an all-time high of $5.05 per gallon last June. Analyst Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy.com also believes gasoline prices will continue to decline, but predicts an even bigger decline in diesel prices.


Electric Vehicle Charging: What Drivers Say N.J.’S Doing Right and Wrong

After a summer when gas prices hit a peak in New Jersey and with state’s incentive program to get more electric vehicle drivers on the road being renewed, I hopped in my admittedly gas-powered Subaru to hear from EV drivers like Mutthathil. What did they dig about their environmentally-friendly commutes? What is the Garden State — which as of June has more than 80,000 registered electric vehicles compared to 338 in 2012 — doing right or wrong on the EV front? And are the nearly 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations in place statewide justifying their installations?


Supreme Court Refuses to Block California’s Ban on Flavored Tobacco

 The Supreme Court on Monday refused to block a California law banning flavored tobacco, clearing the way for the ban to take effect next week. As is the court’s practice when it rules on emergency applications, its brief order gave no reasons. There were no noted dissents. R.J. Reynolds, the maker of Newport menthol cigarettes, had asked the justices to intervene before next Wednesday, when the law is set to go into effect. The company, joined by several smaller ones, argued that a federal law, the Tobacco Control Act of 2009, allows states to regulate tobacco products but prohibits banning them. “They can raise the minimum purchase age, restrict sales to particular times and locations, and enforce licensing regimes,” lawyers for Reynolds and several smaller companies wrote in an emergency application. “But one thing they cannot do is completely prohibit the sale of those products for failing to meet the state’s or locality’s preferred tobacco product standards.”


New Zealand Bans Future Generations from Buying Tobacco Under New Laws

Future generations of New Zealanders will be banned from purchasing tobacco as part of a package of new anti-smoking laws that passed parliament on Tuesday and are among the most strict in the world. The suite of new laws include bans on selling tobacco to anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 2009, punishable by fines up to NZ$150,000 ($95,910). The ban will remain in place for a person's whole life. The legislation will also reduce the amount of nicotine allowed in smoked tobacco products and cut the number of retailers able to sell tobacco by 90%.


Trade Group Says Reports Reveal An ‘Unfair And Unbalanced’ Court System In N.J.

A business trade association that pushes for changes to the state’s civil justice system says three new reports show New Jersey’s system is among the most expensive in the country — and it may get worse. The situation in New Jersey is so alarming, the American Tort Reform Association says, the group put the Garden State on its annual “judicial hellholes” report. That report, along with new economic studies from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, should concern New Jersey residents who are paying for the state’s “lawsuit-friendly policies,” said Anthony Anastasio, president of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute. “New Jersey policymakers need to wake up and accept reality: An unfair and imbalanced civil justice system that is tilted against the business community invites runaway litigation and increases the cost of living and doing business for everyone in the Garden State,” Anastasio said.



  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  

Dispensers & Kiosk For Sale: Dispensers (2) are Dresser Wayne and EMV compliant & updated.  


924 Stuyvesant Ave

Union, NJ 07083

P: (908) 688-4480


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C: (908) 416-4303

E: franmetta@cs.com