New Jersey bill would require display of credit prices for fuel

| 9/11/2008

A bill that is halfway through the New Jersey statehouse could soon require fueling stations to clearly display both the cash and credit prices for fuel purchases. The bill could come up for consideration once lawmakers return Sept. 22 from a break.

New Jersey now allows fuel station dealers to charge one price for credit card purchases and a lower price for cash customers, provided the discount approximates the economic value to the retailer of providing the discount to its cash customers.

The Senate voted unanimously to advance the bill to the Assembly. It would mandate that retailers who charge different prices for cash and credit purchases have to clearly indicate both on all their price signs.

Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, said that consumers expect to pay the amount that is posted on signage.

“They shouldn’t have to play a guessing game as to whether or not they will be charged an extra 10 or 12 cents because they’re using a credit card. (Fuel) stations need to be up-front with what they are charging drivers,” Turner said in a written statement.

Fines for violating the rule would increase by $1,000. Fines now can total as much as $3,000, per occurrence.

The bill – S1431 – is in the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee. All legislation must be approved by both chambers prior to the end of the regular session, which is scheduled for early January.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Jersey in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor