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July 5, 2023
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  

Join Us for a Night Out at the Ballpark! 

Self-Serve & NJGCA in the News 

2024 State Budget Highlights 

MBP Spotlight: Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC 

Baseball Event for All Members 

Its summertime and it’s time to get outside and get social! We have two FREE events coming up, and the whole business (and family) are invited! We wanted to have some fun this summer, so we reserved groups of tickets at both the Jersey Shore Blueclaws ballpark and the Somerset Patriots ballpark to take you all out to the ballgame! Arrive by 6 PM to enjoy BBQ and stay after the game for fireworks. Again, this event is completely FREE for our members, you just need to sign up ASAP as tickets for both games are limited! Find the registration forms for both ballgames at njgca.org/baseball. Registration for the Blue Claws closes on July 17th, so be sure to register quickly to secure your tickets! 

Self-Serve in the News 

I’m sure you all have read the news already that Oregon is about to change their law to allow for all motorists to pump their own gas. This change in the law has been the prompt for much of the New Jersey news media to write about the issue as New Jersey will officially become the only state to ban this entirely. Last week we sent out THIS article and now most recently this week we were quoted in the Asbury Park Press. Paul Mulshine from the Star Ledger also released a great editorial where we helped with background that he used for his article. Just as a reminder, you can always continue to write to your legislators informing them how this issue affects your business, as most politicians don’t really know how this affects their constituents. Feel free to email Eric@njgca.org or call the office if you have any questions on how to do this. 

FY 2024 State Budget 

On June 30th the new state budget was signed into law by the Governor after it passed the Assembly 51-24 and the Senate 25-12. It spends $54.3 for the new year (July 1, 2023-June 30, 2024), which is 7% higher than last year, and an increase of 56% from the last budget of Gov. Christie six years ago. Technically there are no tax increases included in this budget, but once again Governor Murphy refused to dedicate any funds to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, meaning employers will again see an increase in payroll taxes as the fund continues to be refilled after the covid shutdowns. The corporate business tax surcharge will expire at the end of the year as originally planned; this is the 11.5% tax rate for c-corporations with over $1 million in net profits. It will fall to 9%, from the highest in the nation to the fourth highest. The ANCHOR program has been approved for another round of checks to homeowners and renters under the income cap, and a new program was created called StayNJ. This program will reimburse homeowners up to half of their property taxes, up to $6,500. It only applies to seniors with an income under $500,000. The big catch to the program is that the checks are not scheduled to go out until January 2026, which not coincidentally, is also when a new Governor takes office. There is speculation that a downturn in the budget and/or economy will lead to the program being cancelled. 

 MBP Spotlight: Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC 

A powerhouse business and public policy law firm, Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC understands the unique challenges facing New Jersey’s gasoline, convenience retail and automotive sectors – and, drawing upon the collective insight of our more than 160 attorneys, seeks to drive innovative and enduring solutions. Retail service station owners and operators benefit from our attorneys’ keen business acumen and multidisciplinary approach to client engagements involving:  

• Environmental Compliance & Litigation  

• Real Estate, Development & Land Use  

• Litigation & Liability Claims  

• Property Tax Appeals 

• Franchise Law  

• Employment  

• Intellectual Property  

• Regulatory & Government Affairs  

• Government Investigations & White Collar Defense  

CSG Law also now practices franchise law! To learn more, visit csglaw.com. 

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  


Hate Gas-powered Leaf Blowers? By 2028, Home Depot Will Have This Solution 

Montclair banned gas-powered or internal combustion lawn equipment like leaf blowers between May 15 and Oct. 15. Maplewood banned the use starting January this year. And New Jersey lawmakers are considering limited gas-powered lawn equipment throughout the state. It’s part of a trend toward electric equipment that advocates say is quieter, cleaner and safer than its noisier, gas-powered alternatives for lawn maintenance. And now, the nation's largest home improvement store, the Home Depot, will contribute toward the move away from gas-powered lawn equipment. Last week the chain announced that by 2028, 85% of its outdoor lawn equipment would be electric rather than gas-powered.  


Expect Lower Gas Prices This July 4th Weekend 

Travelers will likely encounter packed highways this 4th of July weekend. But the good news is that gasoline prices are cheaper this year. The national average price of gas was $3.55 per gallon on Thursday, down from $4.87 one year ago, according to AAA. "Gasoline prices are about $1.30 less this year compared to last," AAA Northeast Senior Manager Robert Sinclair Jr. told Yahoo Finance Live (video above) on Thursday. He noted that "demand for gasoline is down 4.4% so far this year, and 20% below 2019." Sinclair said that while car travel is still popular, travelers have less money for non-essential driving due to inflation. "People for the holiday, they will be traveling, but for the rest of the year, they’re pulling back a bit as far as the road trips are concerned," he added. The decline in driving fuel costs comes during a downward trend in crude oil amid concerns of a recession. West Texas Intermediate (CL=F) was trading just north of $70 per barrel on Thursday versus one year ago when it closed at $109.78. 


Environmental Policy Contributing To Historic Gas Price Spike In Washington State: 'Hit My Pockets Hard' 

For the first time ever, Washington is the most expensive state in the country to buy gas and a new policy aimed at protecting the environment is a big reason why. In January, Washington began a program aimed at limiting carbon emissions that requires fuel suppliers to either cut their greenhouse gasses or pay a price, but some fuel suppliers are passing along their increased costs to customers. The average gallon of regular gas currently costs $4.98 in the state, according to AAA. That’s up $0.27 per gallon from one month ago and over $1.00 more than the national average. "It has hit my pockets hard," said Seattle resident Sharon Ocain. "When I put gas in my truck, I spend at least $80 just to be able to get back and forth to work for two days." 


Gulf Gas Station Collapses Amid Stormy Weather In Somerset County 
A Gulf gas station partially collapsed during stormy weather in Somerset County. The station is located on the border of North Plainfield and Green Brook. Part of the roof can be seen blowing away during strong wind and heavy rain. No one was at the station at the time. News 12 New Jersey has reached out to police for further information and is waiting to hear back. 



  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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