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March 2, 2023
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  

Self-Serve Update

Governor Murphy Delivers Budget Address

Are You Having DEP Problems?


As you probably already know, the only other state with any form of ban on self-serve gasoline is Oregon. Recently, this topic has come into the news again as their retailers are clearly having the same problems we are with not being able to find attendants to pump fuel. They changed their rules a few years ago to allow self-serve in some rural areas. Last week, a legislative committee hearing was held on a bill to expand self-serve throughout the entire state of Oregon. Unlike our proposed bill, theirs mandates every station provide full-serve, dedicate at least half of their pumps to full-service, and with no price difference between full and self (so no encouragement to choose self-serve). As you know, we’ve been promoting legislation to allow self-serve in New Jersey, though our bill would allow most stations (those with less than 5 gas dispensers) to be self-serve only if they chose to. We continue to push this legislation with legislators and have been for more than a year straight.

It has been suggested to us (by both friends and skeptics of self-serve) that we would have better luck moving legislation if it looked like Oregon’s. But most retailers only have one attendant to begin with. Therefore, a bill that does nothing more than legalize the customer touching the pump arguably offers no benefit to stations, and therefore isn’t worth the effort of pursuing. Some would even say it would be worse than the current situation because a big chain like Wawa with multiple attendants could cut their labor down to one attendant and then cut their margin, whereas a small station would not be able to make these kinds of changes and would be worse off competitively. Others say the compromise is worth it because you wouldn’t have to fight with customers who want to pump their own gas, and it would be worth it to just get our foot in the door on the issue, and after a few years we could come back for full self-serve. What are your thoughts on this question? Please email eric@njgca.org with your thoughts. We always want to hear the thoughts of our members!

Quick final note: A member sent us this article last week about robots being developed that are able to pump our gas for us. Could this be our future if the laws don’t change?

Budget Address

Governor Murphy on Tuesday proposed his budget for the state. Spending will be a record $53.1 billion dollars, which is roughly a 50% increase in spending since he took office. Very little included this year will impact your business; for good for ill. He did talk about lowering property taxes (finally), though continues to only be focused on residences, not businesses, and he is not proposing to tackle any of the underlying causes of our highest-in-the-nation property taxes, he’s just going to continue mailing a check. He said there would be no new tax increases this year, but he’s not counting the unemployment tax increase which will automatically go into effect once again this July to refund the UI Trust Fund after it was drawn down during the covid shutdown. He is also not counting what is arguably a back door income tax increase that comes from inflation because New Jersey is one of the few states that does not automatically adjust its tax brackets to account for inflation. NJGCA and other groups have supported bipartisan legislation to do this, but so far the governor has not been supportive. You may have heard the corporate business tax is dropping, but all that’s going away is a temporary surcharge enacted four years ago on corporate profit over $1 million dollars per year. As far as the gas tax goes, they are currently projecting that revenues will be enough that there will be little to no change in the tax rate this October, maybe an increase of less than 1 cent per gallon.

DEP Problems?

We’ve had some members complain recently about increased and unfair DEP enforcement penalties, particularly from one specific staffer. We wanted to hear from you; have you in recent years felt victimized by unfair enforcement of DEP regulations? We’re looking for examples to hear how widespread the problems are before we take it up with DEP leadership. The goal of our environmental rules should be to maximize compliance, not to find excuses to generate revenue off the backs of small businesses. You can email or call Nick at nick@njgca.org or 732-256-9646 to share your horror stories. 

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  


Two Power Plant Projects, Miles Apart, Test Murphy’s Clean Power Target

Instead of appeasing his harshest environmental critics, Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to adopt some of the nation’s most ambitious clean power targets may be inflaming them. That’s because even as his administration says it is preparing for a future of carbon-free power, two state agencies are planning to spend over $700 million on two gas-fired power plants within a few miles of each. Last week, Murphy said he wants the state to get 100 percent of its power from carbon-free sources by 2035 — the most aggressive target of any large state. Many leading environmental activists praised the move, but a few continued to question Murphy’s commitment to climate change action because of the two plants, one planned in Newark and the other in neighboring Kearny. Each has fueled months of opposition and community activism.


The EV Question for Auto Executives: How Fast to Make the Shift?

Most car executives agree that a transition to electric vehicles is inevitable. How rapidly to make the switch is a central question, one that is driving divergent strategies. Traditional auto makers have pledged to gradually transform their vehicle lineups to EVs, but timelines vary. If car makers get ahead of consumers on EV rollouts, that could inflate their costs and hurt sales of gas-powered vehicles, profits from which are needed to fund investments in electrification. At the same time, lagging behind rivals in EV offerings could cost car makers the chance to establish themselves in a key growth area over the next few decades, executives say. “We don’t want to risk missing the market,” AB Chief Executive Jim Rowan said during an earnings call this month. The Swedish auto maker is among those seeking to rapidly evolve into an electric-only manufacturer, saying it will offer an all-EV lineup by 2030. Last year, 11% of Volvo’s vehicle sales were electric. Electric vehicles last year accounted for nearly 10% of global sales, much of it driven by Tesla Inc. and other EV-only players, according to research firm EV-Volumes.com. For many legacy auto makers, electrics were an even smaller part of the business. And while Tesla’s profits have surged, legacy car makers largely lose money on EV sales, because of high battery costs for their early offerings. Across industries, companies are grappling with a fundamental tension of how quickly to move their business models away from fossil fuels. BP PLC, which for years championed a green revolution, this month said it would slow its transition to a lower-carbon business model and boost oil-and-gas production.


NJ Ranks Last Regionally In NJBIA 2023 Business Climate Analysis, Again

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) is out Feb. 23 with its 2023 Regional Business Climate Analysis, which ranks the Garden State last by a wide margin among its neighboring states. The NJBIA analyzes six individual cost drivers that affect business competitiveness in seven states, with scores ranging from 1 (least competitive) to 7 (most competitive), which are added together to reach an Overall Regional Business Climate Score. . . The analysis, which was prepared by NJBIA Director of Economic Policy Research Kyle Sullender, found New Jersey generated a score of just 11, ranking the Garden State last overall for the fifth straight year, behind New York (17), Massachusetts (19), Connecticut (25), Pennsylvania (31), Delaware (31) and Maryland (34).


Subway Aims to Build EV Charging Oases

Subway and GenZ EV Solutions, a provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, are partnering on what they describe as “an EV charging oasis of the future.” The brands envision charging canopies with multiple ports, picnic tables, Wi-Fi, restrooms, green space and even playgrounds. As part of a multiyear plan to roll out the oases, smaller-format, fast EV charging stations will be piloted at select, new or newly remodeled restaurants across the United States, starting in 2023.



Big Drop In Gas Prices Continues In New Jersey, But For How Long?

Gas prices continued to fall over the weekend in New Jersey. Pump prices are now down 7-cents per gallon in the last week, according to AAA, for a statewide average of $3.20 per gallon for regular gas. The cost for gasoline in New Jersey has been falling at a rate of about a penny per day for weeks. What we are paying today is 7-cents cheaper than a week ago and prices have now fallen 25-cents in the last month. New Jersey drivers were paying $3.65 for regular one year ago. The cheapest gas, on average, can be found at stations in Burlington county at $3.08 a gallon.


Murphy’s Plan To Finally Fix Services NJ Residents Always Complain About

Almost three years ago when the pandemic started, the New Jersey Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance program was overwhelmed by an online crush of applications for benefits. During his budget address on Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy will propose using $35 million in federal funds for ongoing work to replace the state’s antiquated unemployment systems and outdated hardware. The investment is geared toward:

  • Handling increased volume of claims
  • Reduce the risk of fraud
  • Allow for new self-service functions
  • Integrate the state's Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance systems

Murphy's announcement comes after years of complaints from residents — often heard over the airwaves of New Jersey 101.5. Also this week, NJ.com reported that they were sometimes unable to reach help when they called various state hotlines for COVID relief, rental assistance, unemployment insurance, the ANCHOR rebates and the MVC.



  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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E: franmetta@cs.com