Fuel ups with cash could become cheaper in Wisconsin

| 5/10/2005

If you’re willing to carry the cash, a bill in Wisconsin could lower the price you pay at the pump.

A pair of bills in the state legislature – AB398 and SB180 – would eliminate a mandatory surcharge retailers must charge in order to provide credit card payment methods at their stores.

The current charge is the result of a contract signed between the retailer and the credit card company, said John Hogan, chief of staff for Sen. David Zien, R-Eau Claire, the Senate bill’s co-sponsor. Hogan said this obligation results in a 3 percent fee on every fuel purchase, regardless of the form of payment.

“Part of the contract that is signed says they cannot offer a cash price to allow them to avoid a credit card transaction,” Hogan said.

Under the new law, the contractual obligation would be eliminated.

“It allows a gas or diesel retailer to sell fuel for a cash price, because currently they can’t do it,” Hogan said. “This would allow them (drivers) to pay cash with a discounted price.”

--by Aaron Ladage, Land Line staff