Palm Beach County Gas Stations Must Post Exact Price on Signs for Credit Card Users, According to New Ordinance

Palm Beach County gas stations will have to start posting the exact amount gas costs for both cash and credit prices, thanks to a new ordinance that passed Tuesday.

At it stands, gas stations usually charge extra for gas when it's paid for with a credit card, mainly because of fees the stations are charged. But thanks to the ordinance, the exact amount -- including whatever extra credit card customers will pay -- must be clearly posted.

That means that both the cash and credit card prices must be the same size on gas stations' display signs, as well as be well lit in the evening.

Stations that fail to meet these requirements will be given a warning at first but will be billed $250 by the county after that if they continue to violate the new ordinance.

Commissioners who met on Tuesday to discuss the ordinance heard from two gas station owners and a lobbyist, who protested to the changes. The main argument was that it will cost the gas stations to have to change their signs and have two separate signs for cash and credit cards.

But the ordinance was passed unanimously and is now pending approval from the Florida secretary of state.

Commissioners were going to hold a public hearing on the matter sometime in July, at the request of the gas station industry. But due to concerns that the Florida Legislature might pass a measure keeping local governments from regulating gas prices signs, the commissioners decided to speed things up and hold the hearing Tuesday.

In 2012, Broward County passed a similar ordinance, requiring gas station signs to advertise the highest prices they charge, not the lower, cash-only prices, mostly in an attempt to eliminate the cash-or-credit bait and switch people have complained about at many gas stations.

The Palm Beach County ordinance will likely get kicked off after July 1, according to the Palm Beach Post.

The ordinance, which was approved by the commissioners in February and was originally held over for a meeting in June, was pushed up to April and approved on Tuesday:

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph