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LaValle: Credit, Cash Gas Prices Should be Equal

State senator from Port Jefferson to introduce bill that would require same price for credit and cash gas purchases.

Those who stop off at the ATM for some cash before filling up at the gas station may have one less stop ahead.

State Sen. Ken LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, will be introducing a bill to prevent gas stations from charging more at the pump for credit card transactions than cash purchases.

“The law as written forbids charging consumers a surcharge for the use of their credit card,” LaValle said. “Because the statute is unclear, retailers have been charging higher prices for credit card use but maintaining that the cash price represents a discount ... In effect, profiteers are taking food off the table of cash strapped Long Islanders during a time of rising gas prices and sputtering economy.”

Patch sites  have reported recently about some stations charging — per gallon — to purchase gas with a credit card. Calls to the gas stations were not answered, though a spokeswoman with the Long Island Gas Retailers Association said gas station owners have the right to set a different price for customers paying with debit/credit, instead of cash.

According to LongIslandGasPrices.com, since Jan. 1, the average gas price for regular gas has risen from just under $3.55 per gallon to nearly $4.00 per gallon.

Should LaValle's legislation pass the state Senate and Assembly, the bill would take effect 30 days after being signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Preliator March 15, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Lady L stop with the facts, you are going start confusing people like Hazel Sandy.
Dan March 15, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I think the stations should be required to advertise the highest price for each grade of gas sold. If you eliminate the cash discount then the prices for everyone will only go up. However, if you simply require the station to advertise its highest price for each grade of gas rather than the lowest, you can eliminate a lot of the perceived bait and switch problems. Gas station operators need this credit card surcharge because no matter how expensive gas gets at the pump, most operators only make between .065 and .10 per gallon pumped, but the credit card companies charge them a percentage of the sale for their fee in addition to a fixed "per transaction" fee. The end result is without charging more to cover the increased transaction costs, a station operator (which is usually just a small business owner, not a multinational oil company), can actually lose money on the sale after all the credit processing fees are taken out of the sale. That said, there are those that do take advantage of the situation and try to soak consumers by charging an overly inflated credit price -- a dollar per gallon is pure profiteering. But if you make the operators advertise their credit price, you will see the price from the street and know to steer clear of those stations.
Surfprotector March 16, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Someone charging us a small fee based on what it costs them additionally to accept credit transactions...is one thing....but a dollar more per gallon...is a rip off!!! In normal times...years ago...business people used to accept credit card transaction as a way to make purchasing more convenient for their customers. Today, it seems to be becoming an ugly new profit center. Let's see if some of our politicians can convey "THE FAIRNESS IN USING CREDIT PITCH" to some of these local stations.
Ralebird March 17, 2012 at 04:39 AM
LaValle and all his Albany cronies have the ability to help us all out at the pump by capping sales tax on gas at a set price per gallon rather than a percentage of the sales price. They can also require the counties and cities to do the same so total sales tax on a gallon is held to something like 20-25 cents a gallon rather than the state profiteering on the oil companies' price increases.
PJ Delia March 18, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Getting government involved further in anything is always a bad idea. But this will backfire and just raise prices. And aren't there more important issues to tackle in an election year?

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