Discount fuel bill for cash-paying customers advances in Wisconsin

| 12/12/2005

The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a bill that would lower the price of fuel when it is paid for with cash.

Sponsored by Sen. David Zien, R-Eau Claire, the bill would eliminate a mandatory surcharge of 3 percent that retailers, including fuel retailers, must charge on every purchase, regardless of the form of payment, in order to provide credit card payment methods at their stores.

The charges only apply to cards from outside credit and debit companies, not to fuel cards or other programs affiliated with a specific convenience store.

Zien said it’s unfair for cash-paying customers of fuel and other merchandise to pay the same as others since a portion of those prices originate from credit and debit card transaction costs.

“Allowing cash for gas, benefits gas station owners and their customers,” Zien said in a written statement. “This bill would lower costs for gas retailers, who could then pass on those savings to consumers.”

The bill would bring Wisconsin laws in line with federal rules, which already allow the discounts.

SB180, which previously passed the Senate, now heads to Gov. Jim Doyle’s desk.