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.

Buddy March 14, 2012 at 11:21 PM
lets form some protest marches...create formal picket lines...in a flash mob kind of was pick a couple of stations a day and picket for 8-10 hours . They will feel the pinch.
Michael March 14, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Most of these political idiots do not care about the price of gas. When was the last time any politician filled up a car of their own? Ummmmm never. That is why the price of gas will keep rising. Hell Obama does not care, he never has to drive.
Richard March 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM
It is toital crapo saying that you get a discount for paying cash....There are no other businesses that I am aware of that discount cash purchases. It is the way the gas stations are avoiding the spirit and intent of the law.
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) March 15, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Via Southampton Patch's Facebook page, Tom commented: "No 'cash discounts' which really means charging more for credit. :)"
Richard March 15, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Ryan Oreilly March 15, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Let them run their business however they like. This is America. If you don't like it pay cash or go to a different gas station they are providiing a service fuel now and pay later. More laws and govt interference just hurts everybody and raises prices in the long run. How bout we ask the state to lower gas taxes instead.
tali icepack jackson March 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM
how about the price of between town to town. i will name one town, montauk.
tali icepack jackson March 15, 2012 at 10:51 AM
ryan, how about we use our own gas ?? or would that mess up our ability to fight in places we shouldn't be. let me make a call to the tri-lateral commission
Walter Noller March 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM
No other merchant charges "more" for the use of debit/credit other than oil related companies, be it gas stations or home fuel. Does it need legislation? I would hope it wouldn't need to get to that, but so it seems. I would also ask why it costs more once you cross the Shinnecock canal. I also thought it was the local stations, but it's the oil companies that add the cost of delivering a few extra miles. The big question regarding the prices is the tax on fuel. I don't see anyone from our "law makers" doing anything to help constituents and the economy by reducing the tax they charge. I say if you want to charge different prices, then get your lazy a$$ up and take my cash at the pump instead of sitting in the store, but I want to see politicians got off their collective lazy a$$es and really DO SOMETHING about the one thing that is crippling the economy. After all, the cost of fuel effects more than the money spent at the pump. Goods at the store don't get their by osmosis. You're paying more for everything because of the distorted inflation of fuel. Production, refinement and an active, cost effective alternatives to our dependence on oil.
Liman March 15, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Mr. O'Reilly is right. We really don't want the government dictating prices. It's never a good idea. Further, sellers don't get 100 cents on the dollar for credit card purchases, the credit card companies have to get their beaks wet (you can't expect their services for free). Worst of all, the obvious response to this bill is to raise ALL prices to an equal higher level. Thanks a lot. Our politicians can be counted on to offer feel good prescriptions for complex issues - "solutions" that don't solve anything, often make things worse, but are good for re-election, which is after all their only goal.
Jimbo March 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM
It's about time! What ever happened to the law about "no zone pricing"? Still 30 cents difference between Riverhead and E Hampton, I won't even mention those poor people in Montauk!
Preliator March 15, 2012 at 12:36 PM
This just goes to show you how worthless and ineffective our government is; every year something happens with gas prices and every year or political leaders make this pronouncement or that one about how they are going to fix it. Thiele had his zone pricing fix, what a joke. Last year Obama promised to do something about oil speculators, what a waste. Now Lavalle is going to do this, let's wait and see. Bishop, who the hell knows what he is doing.
Lady L March 15, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Ah, the free enterprise system at work and the gov't wants to add more regulations. The gas station pays a percentage fee for every credit card transaction, which cuts into their approximately ten cents per gallon, before expenses, profit. What we really need it to vote in a conservative who will allow drilling on our own land and waters rather than allowing China to drill between Cuba and Florida, subsidizing Brazil's deep water drilling, etc, and new refineries in our own country...meaning more jobs, lower taxes all the way around.
Preliator March 15, 2012 at 01:42 PM
What I want to see is law requiring signs telling us how much we pay in taxes on gas, when we shell out $5 a gallon how much do the Feds get, how much does the State get and how much we pay in sales tax.
GOLD FINGER March 15, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Too bad the Shinnecock Indians don't have gas stations !! Perhaps coming soon!!
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) March 15, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Kevin commented via Southampton Patch's Facebook page: "Um Ken, that is not the issue so please don't waste your time or ours. The issue is that we are getting crushed under the weight of $65-$80 for a tank of gas and there is nobody DOING anything about. Reminder for you and all of your politician friends, talking is bad, doing is good. now go do something."
Loretta Lynch March 15, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I wish they would publicize when they charge for using a card. It would then be my choice where I went. Here in my area (Fl.) one station doesn’t charge and the one down the road does. I learned where to go by experience.
Richard March 15, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Isn't it a violation of the station's agreement with the credit card companies to charge a differential?
Roger Lang March 15, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Why do people think credit should be free? Everybody needs to understand there is a cost to credit. Everything should the priced for cash with a 3% or so surcharge for use of a credit card (or price it As a credit purchase with a discount for cash). Its about time Americans learn the costs of credit!
forward thinking March 15, 2012 at 03:35 PM
when you provide items that are needed and are the only ones with them you can cherge what the traffic will "bare". gasoline providers are smart they know they are the only ones with it... so they can charge what they want... so have local gov't tax the s--- out of them by saying you have a potentially hazzardous comodity in out connunity therefore we need additional taxes to make up the difference in coverage..ie fire , police etc... then of course they can use the tax as an additional vechile to increase profits . so as sean connery said " they raise it 1.00 we raise it 2.00... just check out this in pamsey nj gas is 369 and one mile over the bourder in ny it is 399 hmmmm
Sandman March 15, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I am amazed that no one is asking LaValle to go back and support a bill to save us the 15% that Wall Street makes speculating about barrel prices.The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has written position limit rules that would regulate how much traders could buy in oil futures. This would reduce excessive speculation in oil futures that drive up the price of gas by 15 percent. You can only imagine how the "friends of lobbyists" have helped to squash that. And then none of the comments written here refer to the Iranian nuclear disaster? What? That is recking havoc with oil shippments. What a coincidence that we don't hear about that here or on the Fox mis-information station. Like Santoram said "Uh, gas is going up and the president is not doin nutin" Gee that really covers the details. Lets do our research and not look foolish please. By the way, just so you know... U.S. Oil production is at the highest its been in 10 years! Thank you.
Hazel Wilkonson the First March 15, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Exactly on target, Sandman. A recent study shows that speculation accounts for 56 cents per gallon. President Obama and democrats are trying to end speculation through regulation, but republicans are blocking the effort - as usual.
Lady L March 15, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Yes, oil production on privately held land is up, but on federally controlled land is down, and we export most of our oil because it is cheaper to use imported, increasing the profit. Speaking of profit, the feds get the greatest percentage of profit from oil/gasoline and they don't produce anything - and as our potholes are the witness, the tax proceeds aren't going to the roads. Our use of gasoline is down, due to the price and joblessness.
Bob March 15, 2012 at 04:29 PM
LaValle has been in office 34 years! looks like he's gearing up for his relection in November. Time for a change.
Preliator March 15, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Really Hazel, I have not heard a word about reigning in speculators from Obama since last summer. Maybe you should check and see who has gotten more money from Wall Street in history before you go vomit forth the usual lefty talking points. Here is a hint, his initials are B and O.
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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