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August 17, 2023
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  

NJGCA Scholarship Winners

What’s Going On With The Gas Tax?

Horror Highlight: Don’t Touch Customers Property!

New Unemployment Law & Owner Obligation


Thanks to the generous donations from our members, as well as Utica insurance, we were able to award six students scholarship money to aid in their studies. Utica is the insurance company that insures NJGCA members through the Amato Agency and contributed to the funds given for students entering a trade school program. We are pleased to award scholarship money to those students who have demonstrated hard work and determination and hope the award help students continue in their outstanding educational efforts:

Isaias Colon Caraballo, Automotive Technician, Universal Technical Institute

Alexandra Loucopoulos, Sports Management/Psychology, Emory University

Elias Loucopoulos, Financial Planning, Virginia Tech

Olivia Powers, Communications, University of Delaware

Ella Suchora, Social Work, Ramapo College

Lawrence Valenzano, Immunology, Penn State University

We hope to continue awarding students scholarships in the future. Be on the lookout for an announcement on next year and how you can contribute to the scholarship and instruct students to apply. 

Gas Tax

Typically, August is a quiet month in politics and policy work as most legislators and government workers are on vacation. One policy decision we always look out for this time of year however, is what will happen with the gas tax. Every August in Trenton, gas tax revenue from the previous year and consumption data are analyzed to determine if enough funding is coming in under the current tax rate to fund different infrastructure projects. Currently, the gas tax sits at 41.4 cents per gallon and diesel is at 48.4 cents per gallon. While the average price of gasoline in New Jersey has decreased by more than 50 cents from last year, the entire legislature is also up for election in the fall, during a time where taxes, inflation and affordability are at the forefront of resident’s minds. If a rate adjustment is required, it will be announced by the end of the month and go into effect on October 1st. As soon as we know something, we will be sure to report that to you. 

Horror Highlight

We recently heard this story from a member and wanted to pass along as a warning to your employees. A gas station attendant thought he was being helpful when he took the customers phone who was using Apple Pay to get closer to the dispenser so the payment would take. When he went to take the phone from the customer, it fell out of his hand, damaging the phone. The customer is now demanding the business to cover the cost of a new phone. The moral of the story? Instruct your employees to never touch a customer’s personal property under any circumstances! The employee can always ask the customer for a different form of payment, or the customer should get out of the car and scan the Apple Pay themselves to avoid liability should a scenario like this happen again (which of course, is very likely). You can watch the video of the incident HERE.

New Unemployment Law & Owner Obligation

A new change in the unemployment law will create an additional reporting requirement when you separate from an employee. The new law, which was passed in 2022 and went into effect on July 31, 2023, mandates that employers must submit two online forms when a worker’s employment ends. Presently, employers are only required to submit one form (Form BC-10, which outlines instructions for claiming jobless benefits) to the NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJDOL) when a separation occurs. Now, however, a new form will accompany the BC-10, and will contain added information to help NJDOL make a benefit claim determination. Both forms must be submitted simultaneously through the online “Employer Access” portal.  If an employer fails to make the appropriate submissions, a fine of $500 per day will be levied against your business. Please note, the manner of separation (e.g. they were fired, resigned, move to seasonal work, etc) does not change the obligation. An employer must fill out the report regardless of reason; even if the employee does not plan on applying for unemployment benefits. Earlier this week NJGCA participated in a employment law workshop and ironically learned that NJDOL is still working to create “guidance” for the new form submission. Meaning that, even though the submission of both forms was mandated to begin on July 31, 2023, it is likely that the full fines will not be imputed toward employers until it becomes available. You can learn more about the change in law by CLICKING HERE, or read NJDOL FAQs on the change by CLICKING 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  


Throwing A ‘Boom Party’ With Blasting Music Now Carries A Hefty Fine In N.J.

Acting Gov. Nick Scutari on Monday signed a law that increases the penalties in New Jersey for operators of so-called “boom cars,” nuisance vehicles that blast music from stacks of speakers and can be heard for miles around. The law sets a uniform standard for noise violations in the state. Any car that pumps up the volume so that it is “plainly audible” from 50 feet away is guilty of a violation and subject to a fine, although the legislation does not give police the power to confiscate the vehicle, as was originally proposed.


NJ’s Electric Charge: Directive or Incentive?

Recent steps by the state Board of Public Utilities to electrify New Jersey’s building sector have resulted in an extremely contentious debate on whether the state is simply incentivizing residents and businesses to go all electric or mandating it. NJBIA Deputy Chief Government Affairs Officer Ray Cantor said the true answer lies in not what’s happening now, but in what will likely happen in the not-so-distant future. 


August Is A Key Month For NJ Gas Tax: Here’s Why

Every August, a close analysis of the latest gas-tax revenue and consumption data is conducted in Trenton, by law, to determine whether there’s enough funding coming in under the current tax rate to keep pace with planned transportation infrastructure spending that is tied to the tax. Depending on how the analysis goes, the gas-tax rate, which is currently set at 41.4 cents for each gallon of gasoline purchased at the pump in New Jersey, must be increased, decreased or left unchanged.  


BPU Tries Another Tack To Drum Up Investment In Energy Storage

A state agency is once again trying to craft a robust incentive program to spur investment in systems to store energy, a technology viewed as crucial to achieving New Jersey’s goal of transitioning to clean energy. For the second time in a year, the Board of Public Utilities is soliciting input from industry executives, energy advocates and utility officials on a proposal to store power from renewable energy to keep the lights on for homes and businesses.



  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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