TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner which would require retail motor fuel merchants to post the price per gallon of cash and credit transactions to give customers more information was unanimously approved by the Senate Transportation Committee yesterday.
“This bill is about eliminating some of the sticker shock that people face when paying with a credit card at the pump,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “Retail fuel merchants should be up front with their customers about the price difference between cash and credit transactions, and allow drivers to seek out the best deal possible when filling up the tank. It’s unfair to hit drivers with an added cost for credit purchases when they aren’t even aware of the cost disparity until they receive the receipt.”
The bill, S-847, sponsored by Senator Turner, would require a motor fuel dealer to display signs on premises, showing both the price per gallon for cash transactions and the price per gallon for payments made with a credit card. The bill takes effect four months after enactment, to give retailers an opportunity to comply with the signage requirement. Senator Turner noted that the bill is necessary due to the increase in the number of retailers who charge different prices for different methods of payment.
Under the bill and existing regulations, gas stations which violate the provisions of the bill would be subject to a fine of $1,500 for the first offense and not more than $3,000 for the second and any subsequent offense.
“Especially with the high cost of operating a motor vehicle in New Jersey, this is an important consumer protection bill to ensure that New Jersey’s drivers can be informed consumers,” said Senator Turner. “Drivers already face enough pain at the pump without the added uncertainty of whether or not the posted price is accurate for both cash and credit purchases. This bill would make sure that people know what they’re paying, before it’s too late for them to change their mind.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.