County Council Enacts Legislation to Require Disclosure of Credit Price for Gas

by Patrick Herron

Per Montgomery County: Today the Montgomery County Council voted to approve Bill 7-23, Consumer Protection- Gasoline Station Signage, sponsored by Councilmember Gabe Albornoz. The legislation is supported by the full Council, and the new law requires gas stations in Montgomery County to post the credit price of regular gasoline. Current Maryland state law requires gas stations to display the lowest price of regular gasoline. Many gas stations charge different prices according to the method payment, with the lowest price typically requiring payment in cash.

“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,” said Councilmember Albornoz, who chairs the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. “The intent of the existing state requirement to display the lowest price of regular gasoline overlooks that most consumers use credit cards to purchase gas. Our residents find the lack of disclosing the credit price to be misleading and frustrating. I’m grateful to my fellow Councilmembers for their support of this legislation to protect our consumers.”

According to a 2019 study provided by AAA Mid Atlantic, nearly 90 percent of Maryland residents use a credit card or debit card to purchase gas at a self-serve pump. Gasoline is a large expense for many families and low-income families are more burdened by gasoline costs. With gas prices rising dramatically over the past few years, more residents rely on credit cards to make their fuel purchases.

As enacted, the requirement to disclose the credit price for regular gas will go into effect six months after the bill is signed into law. To alleviate any cost burden on gas station owners, Councilmembers also unanimously supported allowing the use of a separate sign to display the credit price for a period of up to seven years.

For more information, the Council staff report can be viewed here.


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