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August 23, 2023
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 Inside this issue
A Message From Your Association
  A Message From Your Association  
  A Message From Your Association  

Online Lottery Legislation Leads to NJGCA Media Frenzy

Sales Tax Holiday In Effect Saturday

Credit Card Surcharge Legislation Signed

MBP Spotlight: MPX/CardConnect

Online Lottery Sales

For almost a year, we have been talking about the proposal from the Lottery Commission to start selling tickets for draw-based games (like Mega Millions and Powerball) on the internet and through a mobile app directly to consumers. Last week, the commission formally voted to adopt the proposed regulation that would allow them to do just that, with an eye towards launching online sales late next year. This vote led to a lot of attention in the media. We put out a statement opposing it, which is why we are quoted in several articles that you may have read this week. In particular, we would like to thank NJGCA members Larry Valenzano and Danny Jallo who took the time to speak to the media about the legislation from the perspective of our industry. You can view their interviews by clicking their names. Also, special thanks to the legislators who went out of their way to publicly defend the industry, especially Monmouth Senator Vin Gopal, who has been working hard both publicly and behind the scenes on this issue. 

Read all the news published this week that asked us for comment:

Asbury Park Press


New Jersey 101.5

New Jersey Monitor




Sales Tax Holiday Reminder

Please be aware that the now-annual “back to school” "sales tax holiday" on certain items begins this Saturday and lasts through Monday September 4th. While few customers do their "back to school shopping" at their local convenience store, c-stores are still bound to stop collecting sales tax on any of the listed items they happen to sell. You can read the full list of what’s exempt at the Treasury's website. Items a c-store might have in stock include USB drives, notebooks, folders, index cards, pens, pencils, glue, paper, and scissors. Note that on September 5th you will again be required to collect sales tax on all these items. While this sales tax holiday is in effect, be sure your computer or registered system is up to date.

Credit Card Surcharge Legislation Signed

Effective August 18th, A-4284 was signed into law prohibiting a merchant from imposing a surcharge that is more than the cost the seller’ cost to process the credit card payment. It doesn’t apply to motor fuel sales, but if you’re using any kind of credit card surcharge in your convenience store or for auto repairs, the law says that the charge cannot be greater than what the actual cost for your credit card fees are. The amount of the surcharge has to be disclosed to the customers before they incur any charge through a sign at the point of entry and the point of sale. The law is largely in line with current industry standards. As always, we recommend our members contact MBP Louis Puglisi of MPX/Card Connect if you haven’t already, who can get you set up with a cash discount or card surcharge that works for you and is in compliance with the law. 

MBP Spotlight: CardConnect/MPX

CardConnect A First Data Company Logo - PBA Health

Savings and Simplicity: CardConnect is the endorsed full service credit card processor for active NJGCA members. NJGCA Members receive special pricing with guaranteed fixed rates, at only .20% and $.04 per transaction! Or, take advantage of the new CardConnect Cash Discounting Program (Small Surcharge Added to Sales Invoice) - Pay No Rates or Fees Ever Again! 

As a national leader in payment processing, CardConnect tailored a program specifically for NJGCA Members. Process all credit cards, including Fleet cards, Guarantee Checks through Telecheck, one statement, next day funding,direct from the processing source.Special pricing on wireless terminals for your towing needs, and Point of Sale Systems with Barcode Inventory Tracking. 

CardConnect Provides NJGCA Members: 

• Cash Discounting Program 

• Free Terminals 

• EMV Chip and PIN Compliance Technology with Apple Pay 

• Easy Pay at the Pump Integration. 

• Next Day Funding, All Bank and Fleet Cards. 

• Point of Sale Systems with Barcode and Inventory Control. 

• Easy to Read Statements. 

• No Hidden Fees 

• Personalized and Responsive Customer Service. 

In a contract or have Pay at the Pump conversion fees? CardConnect will pay up to $ 250 to switch! 

* If you are paying too much for service, or, are interested in a no obligation rate review, please reach out for a complimentary consultation.*

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  


The Number Of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Has Grown. But Drivers Are Dissatisfied.

Electric car drivers are getting fed up with public charging. A new report from J.D. Power found customer satisfaction with public Level 2 charging is down 16 points to 617 on a 1,000-point scale, the lowest level since the study began in 2021. Satisfaction with fast chargers declined even further and is down 20 points to 654. Brent Gruber, executive director of the EV practice at J.D. Power, warns that low charging satisfaction scores that continue to fall could hinder EV acceptance rates. 


Underage Tobacco Sales Common In NJ, Critics Blame Lax Enforcement

Menthol-flavored products are a favorite of students, anti-tobacco advocates say. Historically marketed to the Black community by Big Tobacco, menthol-flavored products make up some 40% of tobacco sales in New Jersey. When an advocacy group sent underage members out around the state to see what they could buy, they logged 192 underage tobacco sales. “New Jersey banned flavored e-cigarettes a number of years ago. But these products were all bought by 18- 20-year-old underage buyers in New Jersey stores. So they should not be on the market in New Jersey. In addition, they don’t have FDA marketing authorization,” said Christine Delnevo, director of the Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies.


NJ Auto Market ‘Getting Better’ For Buyers, Still Far From Ideal
It's still far from a buyer's market when you're looking to purchase a new or used vehicle in New Jersey. Lot inventories are at stronger levels than where they were at last year and in 2021, but the industry remains stuck in a cycle that never bodes well for consumers. The understanding is that vehicle prices will drop gradually as time goes on. Industry observers, though, are keeping their eye on an influx of electric vehicles into the market, and how that will impact the prices of traditional cars down the line.


Pair Of Garden State Parkway Gas Stations Robbed Minutes Apart

Two Garden State Parkway service area gas stations a half-mile apart in Middlesex County were robbed at gunpoint early Friday, officials said. Four men separately held up the Shell and Exxon stations in the northbound and southbound Colonia Service Areas in Woodbridge around 12:45 a.m., State Police said.


Businesses Can’t Profit From Credit Card Surcharges, Must Tell Customers, Under New N.J. Law

Restaurants and other businesses that levy credit card surcharges and pass them on to customers cannot profit from the charges in New Jersey under a new law Gov. Phil Murphy signed Friday. The law — which takes effect immediately — also requires businesses to post information about the charges before a consumer pays for a service.


California DMV Cuts Cruise’s Fleet After S.F. Crashes Involving Its Driverless Cars

The California Department of Motor Vehicles asked Cruise on Friday to reduce its fleet of driverless taxis by half pending an investigation into recent crashes, including two in San Francisco on Thursday night. “Cruise has agreed to a 50% reduction and will have no more than 50 driverless vehicles in operation during the day and 150 driverless vehicles in operation at night,” a statement Friday evening from the DMV said. “The DMV reserves the right, following the investigation of the facts, to suspend or revoke testing and/or deployment permits if there is determined to be an unreasonable risk to public safety.” The DMV said the reduction in operations will remain in effect until its investigation is complete and Cruise “takes appropriate corrective actions to improve road safety.”


Is New Jersey Coming After Your (Non-EV) Car? 2 Sides Offer Insight, Opinion

Eric DeGesero, on behalf of the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey and New Jersey Propane Gas Association, brought the issue back into the public debate Monday when he said Gov. Phil Murphy’s desire to create an EV-only new car market in 2035 will be devasting to the New Jersey economy. And not actually feasible. “The governor’s mandate on EVs will result in New Jerseyans paying more for their vehicles and fewer residents being able to afford a car at all,” he said. “Furthermore, there is no way our fragile energy grid is capable of handling the surge of electricity demand. “As a result, the California Clean Car mandate will ensure California-style rolling brownouts throughout the state.”


New Jersey Seeks Public Comment On Plan To Ban Sale Of Gas-Powered Cars

New Jersey began accepting public comment on a controversial proposal to phase out car manufacturers’ gas-burning vehicle sales over the next dozen years. The proposal, which mirrors regulations adopted in California, would require zero-emission vehicles to account for 43% of vehicle manufacturers’ light-duty vehicle sales for 2027 cars, phasing up to 100% by 2035. Light-duty vehicles weigh less than 10,000 pounds, a category that captures most commuter cars, vans, and pickup trucks.


New Jersey’s ‘Back To School’ Sales Tax Holiday Begins Saturday

New Jerseyans buying pens, notebooks, computers, and other school supplies will get a 10-day tax break starting Saturday when a sales tax holiday begins for the second straight year. First enacted last year in what state officials said was a bid to combat sharp inflation, the sales tax reprieve will waive the state’s 6.625% sales tax for a host of school materials, including art supplies and sports equipment, between Aug. 26 and Sept. 4.


NHTSA Now Approves Of Massachusetts Repair Law After Raising Hacking Concerns

U.S. auto safety regulators said Tuesday automakers can comply with a Massachusetts law requiring them to share vehicle data with independent repair shops, reversing course after previously objecting that it could make vehicles vulnerable to hacking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said automakers could safely share diagnostic data with independent shops using short-range wireless technology, but warned that using long-range wireless signals could potentially let hackers send dangerous commands to moving vehicles. Massachusetts voters in 2020 approved a ballot initiative that gives independent repair shops access to diagnostic data that newer cars can send directly to dealers and manufacturers, in order to allow consumers to seek repairs outside dealerships.



  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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