Measure Would Make New Jersey More Competitive
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) to permit the sale of motorcycles on Sunday received final approval today by both houses of the Legislature.
“With our dealerships closed for business on Sunday, consumers are heading across the river to dealers who are welcoming them with open arms,” said Senator Norcross. “Especially in this economy, we need to give businesses the tools they need to remain competitive. This legislation will place us on par with our neighbors and give business owners throughout New Jersey the ability to compete for sales.”
Senator Norcross introduced the legislation (S-1923) after a Camden County Harley-Davidson dealer expressed concern about losing customers as a result of the Sunday ban. While her dealership, Barb’s Harley-Davidson, is open Sunday for parts and service, Barbara Borowiec is not permitted to sell or offer to sell a motorcycle from her showroom floor under current state law.
She testified before the Senate Transportation Committee that customers who are looking to buy on the spot often will leave her dealership and make the 30-mile trip to Delaware to shop, where the Sunday sale of motorcycles is legal.
Borowiec said in addition to losing initial sales, she misses out on potential repeat customers. Additionally, New Jersey loses sales tax revenue on fringe items, such as clothing and accessories, purchased at out-of-state dealerships.
“Thousands of residents, including myself, own motorcycles not for day-to-day business travel, but for weekend riding,” said Senator Norcross. “Our laws have to reflect the fact that, for many people, motorcycles are recreational purposes. It is only reasonable that our dealers are given the option of opening on Sundays to vie for sales.”
The bill exempts any county which has a law in place that prohibits the sale of items on Sundays, in order to exclude Bergen County, where Blue Laws prohibit the Sunday sale of most non-essential items. The measure would not affect the state’s Sunday ban on automobile sales.
The Assembly approved the bill by a vote of 73-4-1. The Senate approved the measure by a vote of 37-1. It now heads to the desk of the governor.