Discount fuel bill signed in Wisconsin

| 1/4/2006

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has signed a bill into law lowering the price of fuel in the state when it is paid for with cash or check.

Sponsored by Sen. David Zien, R-Eau Claire, the bill eliminates 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. Lower costs for gas retailers enable them to pass on those savings to consumers, he said.

The new law, previously SB180, brings Wisconsin in line with federal rules, which already allow the discounts.