APRIL 15, 2009


IN THIS ISSUE

DEALER NEWS & INFORMATION

Automotive News at a Glance

Dealer Participation Needed: NADA Compensation and Benefits Survey

 

DENVER AUTO SHOW RE-CAP
Green Car Parade

Rocky Mountain Automotive Summit

Green Tie Charity Preview Event

Denver Auto Show

 

REGULATORY & LEGAL UPDATES

COBRA Employer Requirements for New Federally Mandated COBRA Subsidy

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

HB 1230 Hold Harmless for Dealers

SB-150 Closes Bankruptcy Loophole

SB 273 & SB 281 - State Trying to Take $500 Million From Pinnacol Assurance to Balance the Budget

HB 1331 - Governor Ritter's Alternative Fuel Source Tax Incentives.

 

UPCOMING SEMINARS

Upcoming Seminars

CADA Virtual Seminar: Employer Requirements for New COBRA Subsidy; Archive Now Available


CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Upcoming Events

Dealer Management and Leadership Summit

CADA Annual Member Golf Event


DEALER MILESTONES,
HIGHLIGHTS & TRANSITIONS

Bill Hellman Sr. Passes Away

Share Your Accomplishments


ARCHIVES

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e-newsletter archives.

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& Legal Articles
from the Open
Road e-newsletter.

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Outlook
archives.

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archives.


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www.nada.org

CLICK HERE for NADA
Regulatory Affairs information
.


STATE GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

CLICK HERE for the Auto Industry
Division
of the Colorado Dept.
of Revenue.

CLICK HERE for the Title and
Registration section
of the
Colorado Dept. of Revenue,
Motor Vehicles Division.

CLICK HERE for the Colorado
Department of Labor &
Employment
website.




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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS AT A GLANCE

Listed here are several articles pertaining to the
auto industry in general that appeared recently in newspapers and other media outlets across the nation.

  • Breaking News: Lawmakers scrap plan to tap Pinnacol funds
    Denver Post, April 15
    The plan to transfer $500 million from Pinnacol Assurance, a state-chartered workers' compensation fund, fell through today as lawmakers yanked the bill authorizing the raid.
  • New plan for GM may put government at odds with creditors
    Daily Finance, April 14
    The federal government may take an equity interest in GM in exchange for some of the money it is owed for bailout funds. GM is encouraging its major creditors to swap their debt for equity, too.
  • Pinnacol fights Legislature's plan to seize $500M from its reserves
    Denver Business Journal, April 12
    Pinnacol Assurance fought back Sunday against an attempt by the Colorado Legislature to seize $500 million from its reserves to help balance the state budget, labeling the move "illegal and unconstitutional" and calling for supporters to rally Monday at the state Capitol to oppose the plan.
  • Tough choices
    The Pueblo Chieftain, April 7
    With a weakened economy, state tax receipts are down as well and a chief target of legislative budgeteers is higher education.
  • Pinnacol blasts lawmakers' cash grab
    The Pueblo Chieftain, April 11
    Calling the plan "a raid," the chief executive of Pinnacol Assurance blasted a move by Democrats in the state Legislature to use $500 million of the workers compensation insurer's money to balance the state budget.
  • Education needs a fix; raiding Pinnacol is not the easy answer
    Daily Camera, April 12
    Colorado's higher education system is in a jam: The state's revenues, hammered by the recession, have left us with a $1.4 billion shortfall. Everything that can be cut has been on the table, but state leaders warn that we're still $300 million short.
  • No easy solution to balance state budget
    The Reporter-Herald, April 9
    Backed against a wall and tapped out of alternative ideas to balance the state budget, desperate lawmakers turned to unpalatable ones, considering such ideas as selling state buildings and leasing them back; repealing the sales-tax exemption on cigarettes; selling the state lottery, state water projects and CollegeInvest; and furloughing workers.
  • Budget plan harms colleges, businesses
    GJ Sentinel, April 3
    In attempting to deal with looming budget shortfalls, the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee has come up with a proposal that intentionally pits workers and businesses against Colorado’s colleges and universities.
  • Smith Electric Vehicles plant can drive Kansas City-area growth
    Kansas City Business Journal, April 6
    The bigger picture is this: Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp. will make this region the Kitty Hawk of a new American industry by locating the nation’s first significant plant for the assembly of battery-powered commercial vehicles at Kansas City International Airport.
  • Auto-Dealer Ranks Dwindled in First Quarter
    The Wall Street Journal, April 10
    In the first quarter of the year, 271 auto dealers in the U.S. went out of business, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, as car buyers stayed away from showrooms and credit remained tight.
  • Plan to raid Pinnacol reserves advances despite business opposition
    Denver Business Journal,
    April 7

    Proposals to raid $500 million from Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s largest workers-compensation insurer, to cover a budget shortfall could hurt small businesses and injured workers and create a “hidden tax” for Coloradans, business leaders told state lawmakers Tuesday.
  • Deal will boost "Dealin' Doug's" empire
    Denver Post
    , April 12
    Doug Moreland is buying back five dealerships he previously sold to Lithia Motors Inc. in a buying spree that will make him the third-largest auto dealer in the state.
  • Bill Owens: Pinnacol raid is wrong
    Denver Post, April 9
    It is stunning in its audacity and brazen in its goal. I am referring to the legislation introduced in the Colorado legislature to bail out the state by seizing private assets owned by Pinnacol Assurance.
  • Dealer Medved:   Cut bureaucracy, not business
    YouTube, April 10

    Auto dealer asked how to balance state budget, responds.

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DEALER PARTICIPATION NEEDED: NADA COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS SURVEY

Surveys are DUE by April 30th!

NADA sponsors an annual dealership compensation survey; we strongly encourage you to participate in this nationwide survey designed to collect compensation and benefits data for key dealership employees.  This survey will provide overview information for the Mountain region and also show key compensation metrics in comparison to the rest of the country.   

In 2007 more than 2,500 dealers from 71 state and local associations participated in this survey and the results were published in the NADA Management Guide “PF15 Paying to Motivate Update ‘07”.  The results of this year’s survey, published as “PF16 – Paying to Motivate Update ‘09”, will be mailed to you from NADA for free if you decide to participate!* This publication will also be sold to non-participating members for $150 each and will be available in late summer.  Additionally, Colorado state-specific reports will be provided to all participants; CADA will mail those reports when available.

To complete the survey online click here:  www.nada.org/survey

To obtain a paper copy of the survey CLICK HERE


DENVER AUTO SHOW RE-CAP

The 2009 Denver Auto Show was once again a success this year. The event was
well received and well visited throughout the weekend. The events leading up to the show were also highly effective, extremely educational and well attended.

Click on the image below to view a video of the cars featured at the 2009 Denver Auto Show...

Listed below are some images from the various events leading up to the show as well as the show itself:
GREEN CAR PARADE


Green cars line up at the capitol.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN AUTOMOTIVE SUMMIT


Listeners tune in at the Green Summit.

GREEN TIE CHARITY PREVIEW EVENT


The ceremonial cutting of the ribbon at the Green Tie Preview Event.

DENVER AUTO SHOW

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The Denver Auto Show featured green technology vehicles that the whole family could enjoy.

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COBRA EMPLOYER REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW FEDERALLY MANDATED COBRA SUBSIDY
Dealers May Need to Send Notice Letters by April 18th

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) [“Stimulus bill”] provides for premium reductions and additional election opportunities for health benefits under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, commonly called COBRA.  Eligible employees include those who became eligible for COBRA during the period beginning September 1, 2008 and ending December 31, 2009 due to an involuntary termination of employment.   

  • A general notice of this subsidy must be provided to all employees (not just those who were involuntarily terminated) who became eligible for COBRA during that time period.  The basis for this is there could be disputes over what constitutes “involuntary”

Eligible individuals pay only 35 percent of their COBRA premiums and the remaining 65 percent is reimbursed to the coverage provider through a tax credit. The premium reduction applies to periods of health coverage beginning on or after February 17, 2009 and lasts for up to nine months

The Department of Labor’s main COBRA page can be found at:
http://www.dol.gov/COBRA
(see bottom of the page for a fact sheet, model notices, and other information for employers)

TRAINING  FOR THIS TOPIC IS AVAILABLE FROM
CADA AT ANY TIME! 

  • CADA offered a webinar on April 7th, 2009, conducted by a nationally recognized law firm.  The archive version of this session is available and can be viewed from your computer at any time that is convenient for you.  CLICK HERE for more information!

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If you have questions on any legal or regulatory topic, please contact:

DISCLAIMER: CADA is not authorized to dispense legal advice.
The information contained in this weekly email is intended to provide important updates and reminders regarding statutes, litigation, and regulations. CADA always advises that dealers should consult legal counsel on the specifics of any laws or regulations to ensure proper compliance



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HB 1230 HOLD HARMLESS FOR DEALERS

This bill provides a hold harmless for dealers on address discrepancies provided by consumers and refers sales tax jurisdictional issues to the Transportation Legislation Review Commission for their review over the summer. The bill has passed out of the House and Senate unanimously, a rare testament for any bill, and the House concurred with the Senate amendments last week.  The bill is now awaiting Governor Ritter's signature.  This bill represents CADA's 2nd successful piece of legislation for the 2009 Session, the first being the passage and implementation of CADA's franchise bill, SB 91, which was signed by Governor Ritter on April 2nd.

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SB-150 CLOSES BANKRUPTCY LOOPHOLE

This bill closes a bankruptcy loophole often abused by consumers and protects security interest of dealers and lien holders. CADA worked to amend this bill to provide a thirty (30) day timeline under which dealers can perfect liens and still receive benefits from the bill which originally had a twenty (20) day timeline. SB-150 passed out of the House of Representatives and the Senate concurred with the House amendments.  The bill is now awaiting Governor Ritter's signature.

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SB 273 & SB 281 - STATE TRYING TO TAKE $500 MILLION FROM PINNACOL ASSURANCE TO BALANCE THE BUDGET

Both of these bills relate to a raid by the State of Colorado on Pinnacol's reserve funds. Pinnacol is a privately run mutual insurance company that, according to Senate Democrats, is a political subdivision of the State. Both of these bills were filed on Monday, April 6th and were heard by the Senate Appropriations committee on Tuesday, April 7th at 7:30 a.m. Senate Bill 273 would draw $500 million from Pinnacol's reserves to help plug a $1.4 billion shortfall in the state budget and avoid cutting $300 million in higher-education funding. The measure passed by a 7-3 vote, with Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, voting with majority Democrats.

Senate Bill 281 effectively makes Pinnacol a state agency again, giving government tighter control of the insurer's finances. The organization had operated semi-autonomously since the 1990s.

Both bills were heard by the full Senate last Thursday evening, and after extensive debate, both were passed to third reading.

Pinnacol held a huge rally on the west steps of the Capitol on Monday morning at 9:30 a.m.  Rep. Joe Rice (D-Littleton) and Sen. Mike Kopp (R-Littleton) spoke against these two bills.  Thereafter, the Senate had the opportunity to again debate SB 273 and SB 281 that same day when the Senate reconvened at 10:00 a.m.  The bills passed out of the Senate Monday with Senate Bill 273 passing 19 to 14 and Senate Bill 281 passing 18-15.

On Tuesday the bills were quickly heard in House Appropriations where they were extensively debated and opposed by Pinnacol representatives, CADA, NFIB and CACI, among others. The bills were set to be voted upon late Tuesday night and SB 281 passed out of committee and is now headed to the house floor. However, the committee did not vote on SB 273, the $500 million dollar raid on Pinnacol, and instead it was laid over. The bills were set to be heard again this morning and it was again laid over. We have subsequently learned that the Governor's office directed the House Appropriations Committee that SB 273 was not an option. Please see the article below for more information.

Breaking News: Lawmakers scrap plan to tap Pinnacol funds
Denver Post, April 15
The plan to transfer $500 million from Pinnacol Assurance, a state-chartered workers' compensation fund, fell through today as lawmakers yanked the bill authorizing the raid.

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HB 1331- GOVERNOR RITTER'S ALTERNATIVE FUEL SOURCE TAX INCENTIVES

HB 1331 is sponsored by Rep. Sara Gagliardi (D-Arvada) and Sen. Betty Boyd (D-Lakewood).  The bill provides tax incentives for efficient motor vehicles.  Vehicles covered by this bill include those that meet the CAL-LEV II standards for emissions, light-duty passenger, truck and medium duty truck diesel-electric hybrids, hybrid conversions, CNG, and installation of idling reduction technology.  This bill is from the Governor’s office and part of his legislative agenda.  We are working with the Governor's staff to amend the bill to remove any reference to CAL-LEV.  If we can successfully amend the bill in this fashion, CADA can provide its full support to this legislation.  The bill is scheduled to be heard by the House Transportation committee on Thursday, April 16th at 1:30 p.m. 

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Questions or Comments?  Please contact:

Melissa Kuipers – VP of Government Relations and Communications

melissa.kuipers@coloradodealers.org, 303.457.5115


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aTO REGISTER ONLINE FOR ANY CADA
SEMINAR OR EVENT, PLEASE VISIT:

www.coloradodealers.org/registration
Event Description
Date/Time
Location

CADA Virtual Seminar: Employer Requirements for New COBRA Subsidy

Speaker: Penny Wofford, Ford & Harrison LLP


Archive of this webinar can be viewed any time

Click here for a registration form and more information (login information and slides provided upon registration)

Session was completed April 7, 2009
-Includes detailed Q &A by those linked in on April 7th


Event Description
Date/Time
Location

Dealer Management & Leadership Summit

 

Save the Date

Thursday, Aug. 13

8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m

Marriott Denver South at Park Meadows Drive (I-25 and Lincoln in Douglas County)
More information on speakers/agenda will be posted online as finalized.

CADA Annual Member Golf Event

Monday, August 24, 2009

12:00 Noon Shotgun Start

Glenmoor Country Club
110 Glenmoor Drive
Cherry Hills Village, 80113
303.781.3000

www.glenmoorcc.org


BILL HELLMAN SR. PASSES AWAY

Longtime Delta resident Bill Hellman Sr. passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colo. He was 82.

Ralph W. Hellman was born to Ralph W. Hellman and Alice Margaret (Flatley) Hellman on November 28, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Central High School in Oklahoma City, and from Oklahoma University. On February 28, 1981, Bill married Lettie Smith at their home in Delta, Colorado. The couple had the honor and privilege of celebrating 28 years of love and marriage together this year. He was previously married to Vivian J. Vater. Bill was a successful entrepreneur. He owned and operated a car dealership in Dodge City, Kansas, and Hellman Motor Company in Delta since 1955.

CLICK HERE to read the entire obituary.

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LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS!

Have you or anyone else at your dealership won an award recently? Have you or your dealership provided any outstanding community service? We want to recognize such accomplishments. Please send us a brief write-up of the award or event along with any other information to milestones@coloradodealers.org. Also include your contact information for further follow-up.


If you want to be added to our mailing list, please CLICK HERE.

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Colorado Automobile Dealers Association
290 East Speer Boulevard Denver, CO 80203
Telephone: 303.831.1722 | Facsimile: 303.831.4205
www.coloradodealers.org