February 7, 2023
ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 7, 2023—On Tuesday, February 7, Montgomery County Councilmember Gabe Albornoz introduced Bill 7-23, which would require 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 method of payment with the lowest price typically requiring payment in cash. Bill 7-23 would require the additional disclosure of the credit price for regular gas which is typically higher.
“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. 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,” said Councilmember Albornoz, who chairs the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. “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.”
Maryland State Senator Cheryl Kagan (D-17), Vice Chair of the Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee, introduced similar legislation at the state level. Senate Bill 178 would require signage that provides the credit/debit and cash price for regular gasoline.
“The practice of only posting the cash price for gas is a ‘bait and switch’ for consumers,” said Senator Kagan. “Consumers should be aware of the price they will pay before pulling into the gas station.”
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 one of the largest expenses 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.
A public hearing on Bill 7-23 is scheduled for February 28 at 1:30.
For more information, the Council staff report can be viewed here.