Regulations

New Jersey Group Leads With Successes

Linda Jagiela
Posted on March 11, 2013
LANJ President Tim Rose (L) leads a strong team of association officers who monitor many issues on behalf of New Jersey operators while keeping them organized and informed; executive director Barry Lefkowitz (R) makes good use of legislative connections and political access in Trenton, New York and Washington, D.C. to advocate for LANJ.

LANJ President Tim Rose (L) leads a strong team of association officers who monitor many issues on behalf of New Jersey operators while keeping them organized and informed; executive director Barry Lefkowitz (R) makes good use of legislative connections and political access in Trenton, New York and Washington, D.C. to advocate for LANJ.

LANJ President Tim Rose (L) leads a strong team of association officers who monitor many issues on behalf of New Jersey operators while keeping them organized and informed; executive director Barry Lefkowitz (R) makes good use of legislative connections and political access in Trenton, New York and Washington, D.C. to advocate for LANJ.
LANJ President Tim Rose (L) leads a strong team of association officers who monitor many issues on behalf of New Jersey operators while keeping them organized and informed; executive director Barry Lefkowitz (R) makes good use of legislative connections and political access in Trenton, New York and Washington, D.C. to advocate for LANJ.

LUMBERTON, N.J. — Limousine operators in New Jersey have unique challenges that vary from every other geographic location in the nation.

New Jersey sits among the metro areas of New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Operators in the state must support multiple airports across the Northeast urban corridor. Unlike its neighboring states of New York and Pennsylvania, New Jersey is not as heavily regulated nor forced to pay exorbitant fees and fines to do business. This mostly results from the diligence of a strong association, the Limousine Associations of New Jersey, which was given the 2013 LCT Association Award of Excellence on Feb. 6 at LCT's annual Awards Celebration in Las Vegas. But operators must stay abreast of the regulatory environment in New Jersey and nearby states.  

To the association’s credit, New Jersey operators are afforded a rolling stock exemption which exempts them from paying sales tax on new vehicles, and parts, labor and services used to run their businesses. The purchase of one vehicle justifies an operator’s membership in the association.

Declining membership has been a challenge for operators in New Jersey, where the small operators are often unable to participate because they are driving their own vehicles or do not have staff to cover their offices. The weak economy has forced many smaller operators to forgo association membership as a means of cost cutting. The number of vendor members also has declined. New Jersey at one time boasted a number of limousine manufacturers. Today, names such as Di Vinci and Empire International are just entries in the industry’s history books. LANJ has managed to keep expenses constant and supplements its income from dues by regularly holding fundraisers.  

Success Stories
When Hurricane Sandy hit the state in early November, Gov. Chris Christie gave an executive order requiring gas rationing by odd and even numbers. This requirement would have devastated the limousine industry. LANJ succeeded in immediately working with the lieutenant governor to get an exemption for all commercial vehicles in the state. This helped minimize the financial damage Sandy caused the industry.   

Additionally, LANJ succeeded in getting legislation passed that required taxi drivers to get criminal background checks.  
LANJ, through its executive director, Barry Lefkowitz, has a key seat at the table with the governor’s Passenger Transportation Advisory Council (PTAC) in modernizing and updating rules and regulations for all passenger vehicle transportation in the state. LANJ is looking at how an industry should work with government and create statutes that both protect the riding public and level the playing field.  

“There are constant attempts by entrepreneurs to take business from the limousine industry,” Lefkowitz says. “Avis’ We Drive You model was a good example. LANJ dealt with it legislatively. This gave law enforcement the legal authority to be able to address illegal operators.”  

2013 LANJ Goals:

  • Eliminating the sales tax on limousine service in New Jersey continues to be a hurdle. The state government added the tax in 2009, and operators have been fighting to have it removed ever since. Although the association has some strong supporters in state government in Trenton, they do not expect to have success during this session given the state of the economy.
  • LANJ is working on legislation to level the playing field with the jitneys trying to expand their base of operation by doing limousine work which violates statutory and regulatory authority.
  • It is working with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) to look at ways that its regulatory authority over certain passenger vehicle transportation industries comes under its purview (taxis, jitneys and other forms of transportation are not regulated by the NJMVC). NJMVC does not have the statutory authority to be able to negotiate with the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission or any agency with which the New Jersey limousine industry has problems or issues.
  • It is also looking at adding value for its members by developing a chauffeur training certification program in the state to provide more professionalism for chauffeurs and to help stem the significant turnover rate in the industry.
  • LANJ is an integral part of a regional association called the Coalition of Transportation Associations (COTA) made up of five state associations that all share resources and talent to address the many regulatory issues facing the industry in New York City.

FASTFACTS
Limousine Associations of New Jersey (LANJ)

  • Location: Lumberton, N.J.
  • Founded: 1998
  • Operator members: 85
  • Vendor members: 23
  • Executive director: Barry Lefkowitz
  • Officers: President: Timothy Rose, Flyte Tyme Limousine; Vice President: James Mosely, Trip Tracker; Secretary: Jeffrey Shanker, A-1 Limousine; Treasurer: Barbara Chirico, Gem Limousine
  • No. of operators in state: about 5,000
  • No. of limousine vehicles in state: 8,800
  • Annual dues: $250—$3,000, based on fleet size
  • Meetings: Every other month
  • Website: www.lanj.org

Related Topics: Association Award of Excellence, Barry Lefkowitz, LANJ, limo associations, New Jersey operators, state regulations, Tim Rose

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