Council Votes to Require Gas Stations to Post Credit Card Price

Gas stations will be required to post the credit card price and not just the lowest price of gasoline under legislation unanimously passed Tuesday by the Montgomery County Council.

If signed into law by Executive Elrich, the legislation will go into effect 6 months later.

“At the heart of it, this is a consumer protection bill,” said Councilmember Gabe Albornoz, the bill’s lead sponsor. The idea is to protect residents against fraud, he noted.

While the council has not received many complaints about deceptive advertising at gas stations, Albornoz said, “This is still important.”

According to the legislation, the words on the sign must be the same size as other prices on the station’s current signs. Station owners can add to their current signs or create new ones as long as the signs are visible to consumers.

The credit card price can be added to a current sign for the next seven years. After that, the price would have to be included in one sign with all other prices.

Councilmember Andrew Friedson estimated that the new requirement could cost a station owner about $12,000. “This is not a modest expense,” he said.

Current Maryland law requires station owners to display the lowest price of regular gas, which is usually a cash-only price.

“We have all experienced that moment of noting the posted price of a gallon of gas, pulling up to the pump and then realizing that the credit price is much higher,” Albornoz said in a news release.

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