By Gene Lambey,
Special to the AFRO
AFRO Assistant Editor,
The Prince George’s County Council passed a new legislation on Sept. 6 holding gas stations accountable and requiring that they present consumers with accurate gas prices prior to their purchase.
At the gas pump, whenever a consumer pays for their gas, there is an extra $0.10 the consumer must pay if they’re using their debit card. On the gas price signs, it shows the pricing for consumers paying in cash. This has caused consumers to complain about the deceptive gas pricing.
The bill was introduced and proposed by PG County Councilman Edward Burroughs III.
“We have so many seniors and individuals who go to the pump every single day thinking that they are going to pay one price, but because they primarily use a credit card or debit card, they are forced to pay a higher price,” said Burroughs. “We even have situations where gas companies will post the price of gas based on whether you receive a car wash or not, so you believe you are paying a certain amount when you are really paying several dollars more. The goal of this bill is to increase transparency.”
This new legislation requires the credit card gas prices to be displayed on large signs outside the gas station.
The new requirement known as Consumer Protection Bill (CB-044-2023) will take effect 45 calendar days after it becomes law. Convenience stores and gas stations currently in operation have 12 months from the effective date of the legislation to complete requirements of the measure.
A statement from Prince George’s County officials shared that, “convenience stores and gas stations that remain noncompliant after the grace period shall be charged a civil monetary fine of $100.00 for the first offense, $250.00 for the second offense, $500.00 for the third offense and $1000.00 for every subsequent offense every calendar year.”
Montgomery County officials are looking to put a similar law on the books soon.
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