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66 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JANUARY 2017 WWW.LCTMAG.COM Trade Groups Hold Court at LCT-NLA Show East By Tom Halligan, LCT East Coast editor ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — THE FIRST INDUSTRY association East Coast Forum coupled with various local and regional group breakfast meetings brought members to- gether to discuss mutual issues and strat- egies to work together. The forum was held during the annual LCT-NLA Show East, Nov. 13-15, at Harrah's Resort At- lantic City. Boards of directors and members from the Limousine Association of New Jersey (LANJ), Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association (PRLA), and Florida Limou- sine Association (FLA) held breakfast meetings during the annual show. Topics at the respective meetings cen- tered on updates on TNC legislation in their respective states, as well as fight- ing other regulators' fees and taxes that target the private transportation industry. LANJ President Jason Sharenow (Broadway Elite Chauffeured Worldwide, East Hanover, N.J.) told more than 75 members and guests he expects a pend- ing bill to regulate TNCs to pass when the legislature meets again. "We didn't get everything we wanted, but we're OK with what we got," Sharenow said. Although the bill will provide stricter oversight and regulations for TNCs, mandatory fingerprinting background checks were not included. On a winning note, Sharenow told members a bill to eliminate the 7% sales tax levied against limousine compa- nies is gaining momentum after pass- ing a legislative committee. Sharenow called out LANJ members Jon Epstein (Royal Coachman Worldwide, Denville, N.J.) and Pete Corelli (Lakeview Custom Coach) for "working tirelessly" to lobby and testify before legislators to get the bill going. Fighting Philadelphia Parking Authority More than 35 PRLA members and guests, including members of the Virginia Lim- ousine Association, attended the group's breakfast meeting held Nov. 15. PRLA President Steve Rhoads (Rhoads Lim- ousine Service, Douglassville, Pa.) told members the association is fighting hard to stop a new Philadelphia Parking Au- thority (PPA) vehicle assessment that more than doubles the registration fee per vehicle from $404 to $868. Rhoads said the association has peti- tioned a federal court to stop the assess- ment. The judge ruled in early Novem- ber the hike will not be enforced until the PPA and PRLA meet to iron out the matter. The PRLA is waiting for the PPA to respond. FLA Meeting The Florida Limousine Association held its breakfast meeting Nov. 14 touching on a variety of issues and topics. FLA President Rick Versace told members the association INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION Q&A I JANUARY 2017 is formulating its strategy for the upcoming legislative session to propose a measure that would require all ground transporta- tion drivers for taxi, limo, and TNC to have fingerprint background checks. Versace added the FLA may put to- gether a chauffeur certification program, while members of the Long Island Lim- ousine Association shared how their pro- gram works. On a national note, Versace said the FLA is proposing to create a "Limousine Operator Appreciation Week," culminat- ing in National Limo Day. The idea will be discussed further to see if it can gain traction with the NLA and Congress. Eastern Regional Forum The first-ever Eastern Regional Forum drew a large crowd of East Coast as- sociation members to discuss issues of common concern and how both regional associations and the NLA can cooperate on issues effecting East Coast operators. The forum panel included Mike Calla- han, president of the New England Liv- ery Association; Bill Goerl, president of the Long Island Limousine Association; Rhoads from the PRLA; and Sharenow of LANJ. NLA board of directors Jeff Greene (Greene Worldwide Transporta- tion, Atlanta), and Andy Thompson (Rose Chauffeured Transportation, Charlotte, N.C.) moderated the panel. The event also featured a legislative and election update from Louie Perry, Cornerstone Government Affairs, the NLA's legislative consultant, and a pre- sentation on how to deal with the media — as well com- bat TNCs through the me- dia — by the NLA's public relations firm, Evins. TOM HALLIGAN is LCT East Coast editor, based in Marlton, N.J. He travels regularly to industry association meetings in the eastern U.S. Tom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first-ever Eastern Regional Forum, coupled with local and regional meetings, brought members together to discuss common issues and legislative actions. PRLA President Steve Rhoads (L) and member Mike Baretto (Flyte Tyme Worldwide, Mah- wah, N.J.) update members on recent legisla- tive activity during the association's breakfast meeting at LCT-NLA Show East. LANJ President Jason Sharenow welcomes members and guests to the breakfast meeting held Nov. 14 during the annual LCT-NLA Show East in Atlantic City. First Eastern Regional Forum: Association executives who participated on the panel included (L to R): Mike Callahan, New England Livery Association; Bill Goerl, Long Island Limousine Associa- tion; Jon Epstein, Limousine Association of New Jersey; and Steve Rhodes, Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association.