State Senator Lee Zeldin has taken the next step in targeting gas station owners who are charging up to a $2 difference between cash-and-credit pricing at the pump.
Zeldin, R-Shirley, officials unveiled draft legislation that calls for gas station owners charging more than a 7 percent difference between their cash and credit prices to be forced to post the higher of the two prices on their street-level sign.
"The huge spread between cash and credit prices that some gas stations are charging is simple reprehensible. Station owners are deceptively posting a significantly lower cash price on their street-level signs and luring consumers into the station, where it's not until the consumer pulls up to the pump, inside their car and reaches for their wallet that they realize they are being scammed," Zeldin said.
As chairman of New York State Senate's Consumer Protection, the state senator plans to introduce the draft legislation later this week. A sponsor in the assembly has not yet been found.
Under the proposed law, gas station owners who refused to display the higher price on a visible street-level sign would face a $500 fine for their first violation, a steep $1,000 fine for their second violation. For third violation, gas station owners would be forced to shutdown for 10 days or until they coming into compliance with the signage, whichever is later.
Zeldin said several of his staff members spoke with local gas station owners charging $1 difference between cash-and-credit prices, who then switched back to charging a 10 cent difference.
However, several gas stations in close vicinty to the Hauppauge state building in Smithtown area were still charging a $1 price difference in cash and credit prices Tuesday afternoon.
Some stations charging $1 between cash-to-credit prices included:
- Gulf gas station, 410 Wheeler Road in Hauppauge
- Gulf gas station, 1395 Veterans Highway in Islandia
- Smithtown Mobil, 819 West Jericho Turnpike in Smithtown
Zeldin said he remains open minded about some of the other legislation that has been proposed to regulate gas station owners' actions, including state Sen. Kenneth LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, to limit stations to charging no more than a 5 percent price difference between cash and credit.