LANJ Meeting Offers Guest Speakers, Vehicles on Display
The Limousine Association of New Jersey (LANJ) held its March meeting at—and sponsored by—Empire Coachworks International in East Brunswick, N.J. Co-sponsors were Ituran USA and Don Brown Bus Sales. It was a spectacular turnout for the meeting, which had a packed agenda and ample opportunities for attendees to see various vehicles on display. Edward Vergopia, president of Empire, welcomed everyone to the facility and invited them to get a closer look at everything from Sprinters to the new Lincoln MKT, which many were especially excited to see. Brad Roney, specialty vehicle business manager from Ford Fleet was also available to answer any questions that LANJ members had.
LANJ Executive Director Barry Lefkowitz introduced the first speaker, Selika Gore, deputy administrator of operations at the N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). She spoke about the registration compliance requirements necessary for both operators and drivers in the state. The NJMVC is creating a chauffeur license for New Jersey drivers that will replace the present certificate. Out-of-state chauffeurs working for New Jersey companies, however, will still receive the chauffeur certificate. Gore also reminded LANJ that the Passenger Transportation Advisory Council—which was created last year—is a partnership, not just an authority. “The council is trying to streamline the process and wants to meet the needs of the industry,” she says. She urged members to contact her department directly if there are any specific issues operators are experiencing.
Another important topic was also covered at the LANJ meeting: W2s and 1099. N.J. Department of Labor (DOL) Chief of Enforcement for wage and hour compliance Ted Easton spoke about what his agency looks for to ensure chauffeurs are not being misclassified. He pointed out areas agents will examine when investigating 1099s, such as whether the driver has his own business cards, if he can work for more than one company, and if he carries his own workers’ compensation. Easton says that if a limousine company restricts 1099s in any way, then it may be classified as an employee. He added that the DOL language is easily accessible online at www.nj.gov/labor, or he may be contacted at email@example.com with questions or concerns.
Lefkowitz would like to remind everyone that the LANJ board meetings are open to all LANJ members. Limo Digest Publisher Chris Weiss is a board member, and Associate Editor Liz Hunter attended the board meeting last month where a great deal of information was discussed. The board talked about an increase in ticketing in the city of Elizabeth, as well as ordinances in Hoboken and Jersey City requiring $750 and $500 (respectively) vehicle licensing fees. Meetings are planned with the mayors of those cities to evaluate a solution. Atlantic City area operators have brought jitneys to the attention of the board. Jitneys are now operating like chauffeured transportation carriers—handling events, making door-to-door drop-offs, and conducting business outside of Atlantic City. LANJ is concerned about the jitneys’ operating authority and the insurance they carry. Stay posted for an update on this issue as meetings are planned to find out more.
Complete Fleet will host LANJ’s Annual Luncheon/Auction May 9. Members are encouraged to donate one or more items that will be offered for bid in the auction.
For more information, visit www.lanj.org.