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August 9, 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 Back in the News As Oregon Gov. Signs New Law

New Towing Bill Signed by Acting Governor Scutari

Employee Retention Tax Credit Fraud Continues 

Summer On the Road: Did You Receive Your Copy?

Member Spotlight: G&M Auto Service


You may have noticed the issue of self-serve gasoline back in the news again this week, due to the governor of Oregon officially signing their bill into law. Oregon’s bill allows self-serve at all gas stations, but still requires them to offer a full-service option for the same price at half of all pumps. We discussed this several times in the last few weeks as it moved throughout the legislature and most recently in the press this week when the governor signed the bill. Reading all the articles written around this has only proven what a strange issue this is. Every time this issue comes up it reignites a heated debate in New Jersey that sometimes ends up getting more media attention than heavier policy issues due to the cultural implications in our state. You can tell this is true based on the comments people leave on social media just how divisive this issue is and how strongly many people feel that they do not want any change whatsoever. The opponents of self-serve as an option rarely have any intellectual arguments, they just feel very strongly that they don’t want any change to the law as it exists right now. They say ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, and when informed that its very broken for small business station owners, they shrug and say they don’t care, they want things to stay the way they are. Unfortunately, they vote and let their legislators know they want no change. We do want to thank member Ed Kashouty for contributing to the Wall Street Journal article and sharing his experience on this issue. 

NBC Philadelphia, August 4th 2023: Unease At The Gas Pump Is Back As Prices Rise (Video)

Gothamist, August 5th 2023: New Jersey Is Now The Only State Where You Can’t Pump Your Own Gas

The Wall Street Journal, August 7th, 2023: Pump Your Own Gas in New Jersey? Fuhgeddaboudit. 

Towing Bill Signed into Law

Back in January we mentioned two towing bills that were up for discussion in Committee in Trenton, and now we can report that the “good” bill we supported was signed by acting-Governor Scutari this week. The new law provides that operator, owner, lessor, and lienholder of vehicle may be responsible for certain towing and storage fees. It deals with police ordered non-consent tows. In some towing cases, the owner of the vehicle intends to just abandon their car, and some law firms are going to the lien holder and are suing the tower to get the vehicle released without paying any of the storage fees for the time the car has been on the lot. This could take months. It seems that what these law firms are hoping is that rather than hire an attorney to defend yourself and pay the legal fees, the tower will just let the car go and forgive the fees. This new law will prevent those lawsuits by making explicit the towing company can collect these fees from the lessor or lienholder.

Employee Retention Tax Credit Fraud

Late last month we notified you that the IRS had sent out an alert about scams tied to the Employee Retention Credit, and unfortunately this continues to be a problem. Your accountant should have already made you aware of the Employee Retention Tax Credit, which was created by Congress during COVID to help small businesses. Scammers are taking to advertising methods, direct mail solicitations and online promotions to try to trick small businesses into handing over their funds. The latest SSDA’s newsletter reports is that scammers are calling promoting the fund and businesses are filing sketchy claims hoping to fool the IRS. We encourage everyone to click the previous link and read the warning in full. Anyone who improperly claims the ERC will have to pay it back, possibly with penalties and interest. You can read more about what the scams look like and how to avoid them HERE. Besides the Road Warrior, we have also talked about this extensively in several On the Road magazines. You can read previously published On the Road magazines HERE

Summer OTR

Speaking of our On the Road magazine, our latest edition is officially out! Hopefully you all should have received your copy in the mail by now, or you can read it online HERE. Interested in advertising? Reach out to Michelle at michelle@njgca.org today.

MBP Spotlight: G&M Auto Service, Edgewater Park

A logo with checkered flags

Description automatically generated

For close to 30 years, G&M Auto Service has proudly been a local resource for high-quality auto care in Edgewater Park, New Jersey. This family-owned and operated facility provides professional repairs and friendly service for all vehicle owners. G&M Auto Service was voted “Best of Burlington County” seven years in a row (2013-2020) for their dedication to auto care and customer service. The business features a husband and wife team and is now owned and operated by their son, making it a second-generation business. 

G&M Auto Service

1636 Bridgeboro Road

Edgewater Park, NJ 08010

Website: https://gandmautoserviceinc.com/

G&M Auto Service updated their business hours.

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  


Oregon Allows Self-Service Gas Pumps, Leaving N.J. as Lone Holdout -- OPIS

Oregon motorists will be able to pump their own gas as a new law lifting the state's 72-year-old ban on self service at most stations goes into effect. Gov. Tina Kotek is expected to sign the measure, overwhelmingly passed by the state legislature in June, on Friday. Even if the governor doesn't sign the bill, it will go into effect Saturday under provisions of Oregon law that allows bills not vetoed by the governor to take effect once the deadline for nixing a measure expires. Implementation of the law leaves New Jersey as the only state to still ban self service at gas stations. While that state's fuel retailers are also pushing for a lifting of the ban on customers pumping their own gas, any action on a measure now before the legislature probably won't happen until at least next year, said Eric Blomgren, chief administrator of the New Jersey Gasoline, C-Store, Automotive Association. "We continue to think the people in New Jersey should have a choice between self service or full service when they come to get gas. Now we'll be the only state in the country where they don't have that choice," he said.


House Committee Approves Internal Combustion Bill

A panel in the House of Representatives approved a bill that would block efforts to cease the sales of internal combustion engines. It is a response to California’s Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) rule unanimously supported by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The CARB-sponsored ACF rule requires all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles sold or registered in the state to be zero-emission by 2036, with all trucks to be zero-emission by 2042, according to Commercial Carrier Journal.


Oregon Bravely Allows People To Pump Their Own Gas

This story has been around for as long as I can remember but I still find it somewhat amazing that we’re still talking about it in 2023. Self-service gasoline stations first showed up in the United States in 1947 and they immediately became very popular. But some states refused to approve the practice, leaving everyone to pay more at full-service stations instead. Now, after more than half a century, Oregon has freed its citizens to pump their own gas if they wish, leaving New Jersey as the only state where self-service is still prohibited. But will Oregonians be able to figure out the vexing mysteries of the gasoline pump? Do most of them even know where their gas cap is located on the car? It’s a brave new world to be sure, but hopefully, they will get the hang of it sooner or later. (NBC News) . . . But with all of that said, I’m still at a loss as to why this has been so controversial and what’s causing New Jersey to remain as the outlier. Are there really people who find the concept of pumping gas that perplexing? What’s so difficult about popping open the panel, unscrewing the gas cap, inserting a nozzle, and pulling the lever? Modern pumps all have sensors that detect when the tank is nearly full and cut off the flow before you cause a significant spill. And unless you’re foolish enough to light up a cigarette while doing it, you should be relatively safe, aside from the aforementioned carjackers.


News Outlets in Oregon Teach Viewers How to Pump Gas

For seven decades, drivers in Oregon weren’t allowed to pump their own gas. That finally ended last week, although gas stations are still required to have as many full-service pumps as self-service ones. New Jersey is now the only state that bans self-fueling. . . The primers on how to pump gas are a reminder that the seemingly simple act is not totally intuitive. Local station KGW offered five steps to a fill-up, reminding its audience that gasoline comes in different grades, while the tutorial from KOIN had six steps (pull up, know what kind of gas you’re getting, pay with a card, get pumping, put your fuel cap back on, get your receipt).


Declining Fuel Demand Requires Fresh Thinking

Sixty-seven percent of consumers report being more mindful of their spending, only buying what they need and curtailing impulse purchases, according to a recent survey from Upside, a retail technology company. Even though most Americans would consider buying gas an essential purchase, fuel demand is down and has yet to catch up to pre-pandemic levels. “It’s never going to be 2019 again,” said Kevin Hart, Senior Vice President of Fuel, Upside. “There is simply less demand for fuel in the United States, and there will continue to be over time. However, that doesn't mean that convenience and fuel retailers are doomed to become unprofitable.” Hart says that inflation, the uptick in remote work, electric cars, more efficient cars and the proliferation of on-demand delivery have impacted how often consumers are purchasing gas. People are also price-shopping when it comes to fuel. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of respondents said they actively compare prices when looking for fuel.


Envisioning an Electric Future

Close your eyes for a moment. Think about your convenience retailing business. Now think about it five, 10 years down the road. You are now catering to a quickly growing customer demographic—the EV driver. Imagine drivers pulling into your parking lot to charge their vehicles and being greeted by a row of chargers ready to go. They open your store’s app on their phone to turn on a charger and pay for their charge. Once they begin charging, they see a notification pop up on their phone for a free specialty coffee. They click on the promo, order their beverage and walk into the c-store to pick it up. They purchase a pastry to go with their coffee and sit down in a comfy chair. They open their laptop and squeeze in 20 minutes of work before they receive an app notification that their vehicle is charged. With an experience like this, EV drivers choose your location for a convenient charge, becoming loyal customers. Now open your eyes. Is your current convenience store business on the path to the electrified future that you envision? Or do you need some guidance, a little inspiration or some tips on how to take your first step into the EV charging world? If so, keep reading.



  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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