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BusCon switches from Chicago to Indiana in 2014

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BusCon Expo, the most extensive gathering of private and public-sector decision makers in the bus industry for more than 17 years, will switch locations in 2014 to the Indiana Convention Center, Halls F & G, in Indianapolis, Sept. 15 to 17, 2014. In 2013, the Expo will return to Chicago’s Navy Pier Sept. 10 to 11. [Reprinted from Metro Magazine]

Jerry A. Casser, Esq. (Fairfield NJ Transportation attorney) www.jcasser.com


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Charter Bus Operators Do Not Have to Purchase Apportioned Plates

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Charter bus operators in the U.S. and Canada have been spared from having to purchase apportioned license plates after a proposal requiring the action failed to pass.

The United Motorcoach Association (UMA), along with the National Tour Association (NTA) and Motor Coach Canada (MCC), partnered in a campaign to speak out against the International Registration Plan (IRP) proposal to eliminate the exemption granted to charter bus operators and force most of them to buy apportioned license plates.

In a pre-ballot survey, 50 of the U.S. states and Canadian provinces that are members of IRP — the organization governing vehicle registration of out-of-jurisdiction buses and trucks — approved the change to the exemption, thus prompting an official vote. The elimination proposal needed the support of 75 percent of IRP members to be approved; however, the vote failed to reach the support benchmark and was not passed.

Collaborative letters were sent out to voting members from Victor Parra, UMA president/CEO and Lisa Simon, NTA president, urging members to vote against the proposal citing the negative impact to travel and tourism and the higher costs that would have to be endured by motorcoach operators to obtain apportioned license plates.

A second letter was also sent by Parra outlining safety statistics of the motorcoach industry and asking members to put their confidence in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA program to monitor and enforce motorcoach safety and vote “no” to IRP’s proposal.

“Based on the pre-ballot survey, this proposal was expected to pass easily, but for the past month, we’ve lobbied hard on this issue with our partners from the MCC and NTA,” said Parra. “IRP was hoping to get states searching for new sources of revenue to support the elimination of the exemption without thinking about the overall consequences of their decision.”

The partners reacted quickly and sent communications to state/provincial directors of tourism, governors and directly to the voting IRP members, according to Parra. “Both NTA and MCC helped greatly in this effort. Thankfully we were able to turn this around and the result was enough “no” votes to kill the proposal,” he said.   Reprinted from Metro Magazine.

Jerry A. Casser, Esq. – NJ Transportation Law Attorney (www.jcasser.com)


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Greater NJ Motorcoach Association Announces Directors for 2011-12

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May 25th, 2011 – The Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association announced its Board of Directors and Officers for 2011-2012 at its Annual Meeting held at Resorts International in Atlantic City, NJ.  Serving as President is Tim Stout, Stout’s Transportation, Trenton, NJ; Vice President is Mark R. Waterhouse, Classic Tours, Lakewood, NJ; Secretary is Mitchell Sussman, Starr Tours, Trenton, NJ; Treasurer is Joseph P. Fernandez, CPA, West Islip, NY; Other Board members are; David Benedict, David Tours & Travel, Philadelphia, PA; Thomas Dugan, Safety Bus, Pennsauken, NJ; Scott E. Henry, Martz Lines, Wilkes-Barre, PA; Nate Karp, Greyhound Lines, New York, NY; Wayne Klein, Klein’s Bus Service, Inc., Douglasville, PA; James Murphy, Saddle River Tours, Wallington, NJ; Thomas JeBran, Trans-Bridge Lines, Bethlehem, PA.; Tom Taylor, Lakeland Bus Lines, Dover, NJ;. Executive Director is Andrea C. Malamut, Cherry Hill, NJ and Legal Counsel is Jerry Casser, Esq., Fairfield, NJ.  

Jerry A. Casser – Transportation Law Attorney (Fairfield, NJ) www.jcasser.com

 


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NJ Moving Ahead on Exempting Out of State Bus Operators from Corporate Business Tax

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For some time, NJ has not been customer friendly insofar as dealing with out of state bus operators coming into NJ to deliver casino patrons to Atlantic City.  NJ has been insisting on collecting their fair share of revenues under the NJ Business Corporation Tax, even though the business originates out of state.

NJ has gone as far as seizing out of state buses and holding them hostage until Returns are filed and taxes paid.  As a direct result of this activity, out of state operators have found more customer friendly destinations for their casino patrons.

Right now a NJ Senate Committee has approved a Bill which would exempt the out of state bus operators conducting business in NJ.  This has been viewed as a special case, to help out the faltering AC Casino business.   This is far from a done deal, since the full Senate still has to vote on the Bill and the Assembly Bill awaits a Committee Hearing, bit it’s progress.

Jerry A. Casser, Esq. – Fairfield, NJ Transportation Attorney – www.jcasser.com


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Red Tape Review Panel

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On March 23rd, I appeared before a NJ Red Tape Review Panel with other representatives of the Greater NJ Motorcoach Association to give testimony on issues confronting the NJ motorcoach industry and suggestions on ways that the State of NJ could assist the industry.  Some of the issues dealt with bus transportation to Atlantic City and coincidentally, the Governor is now seeking to orchestrate a State takeover of the casino district to eliminate overregulation and better promote the city as a destination and possibly assist the bus operators.

Jerry A. Casser, Esq. (Fairfield, NJ Transportation Attorney) www.jcasser.com


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Changes Coming for Atlantic City

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During the past week the Press has reported on Gov. Christie’s proposals for revamping the Atlantic City Casino District which involves simplifying and consolidating multiple functions that affect the casino industry.  One of the byproducts of this may be its effect on the casino bus industry.

As the casino business has tumbled during the economic downturn, the bus companies that have brought thousands of people each day to AC have similarly suffered a downturn and have either reduced their service to Atlantic City, or redirected their business to the new Pennsylvania casinos, the Connecticut casinos, and Delaware and NY slot markets.

I recently testified before a Commission created by the Governor and chaired by the Lt. Governor presenting the issues which affect the NJ bus companies who deal with Atlantic City.  The bus industry needs a strong Atlantic City Casino market in order to generate passengers for their service, and I emphasized to the Commission the need to assist the bus companies with regard to tax issues, bus routing within AC, signage, offsite bus inspections, and generally to make Atlantic City more consumer and bus friendly.  The 

The casino’s benefit from the bus service and the bus companies benefit from an attractive destination to offer to their patrons.  It’s a Catch-22 situation, and maybe my comments did not fall on entirely deaf ears.

Jerry A. Casser, Esq. (Fairfield, NJ Transportation Attorney) www.jcasser.com


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Greater NJ Motorcoach Association (GNJMA)

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June 3, 2009… The Greater NJ Motorcoach Association announced its Board of Directors and Officers for 2009-2010 at its Annual Meeting at the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City.  Serving as President is Thomas Dugan, Safety Bus, Pennsauken, NJ; Vice President is Mark R. Waterhouse, Classic Tours, Lakewood, NJ; Treasurer is Joseph P. Fernandez, CPA, West Islip, NY; Secretary is Scott E. Henry, Martz Lines, Wilkes-Barre, PA.  Other Board members are David Benedict, David Tours & Travel, Philadelphia, PA; Tim Stout, Stout’s Charter Service, Trenton, NJ; Joshua Bennett, Capitol Bus Co., Harrisburg, PA; Mitchell Sussman, Starr Tours, Trenton, NJ; Nate Karp, Greyhound Lines, New York, NY; Wayne Klein, Klein’s Bus Service, Inc., Douglasville, PA; James Murphy, Saddle River Tours, Wallington, NJ; and Thomas JeBran, Trans-Bridge Lines, Bethlehem, PA.  Executive Director is Andrea C. Malamut, Cherry Hill, NJ and Legal Counsel is Jerry A. Casser, Esq., Fairfield, NJ.  


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NJ MVC Annual Reports

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It seems as if many NJ Bus Companies, possibly the newer ones, have either forgotten about or are unaware of the requirement of filing an Annual Report with the NJ MVC. The Annual Reports are due no later than March 31st covering the preceding calendar year. It had been by experience that the forms were mailed to the bus carriers during January, leaving sufficient time to complete and file same. However, during the past week, the MVC has mailed a number of the forms to me as attorney for the newer companies advising that the deadline had been missed and establishing a new deadline of August 1st.

There are serious penalties for non-compliance, i.e. revocation of operating authority in addition to a daily penalty for the late filing. No one can afford to lose their operating authority, so it behooves each and every bus company to do the requisite filing. In most cases, the filing will be done by the accountant or controller for the company, as the key information is financial (income statement and balance sheet). Fees are based upon revenues for the year. If anyone has a particular question about preparation or filing, please direct it to me at jerry@jcasser.com and I will try to help.

Jerry A. Casser, Esq. (Fairfield NJ Transportation attorney)  www.jcasser.com


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