Bill would change fuel price advertisement requirements

Madison– the Wisconsin State Assembly passed a bill Tuesday afternoon authored by Representative Mary (Czaja) Felzkowski (R-Irma) that would allow retailers of motor fuel to advertise their prices by the half-gallon.

Under current law, all retailers are required to advertise motor fuel prices by the gallon. However, a number of small businesses operate antiquated fuel pumps that can only show prices up to $2.99. To avoid having to replace their pumps when prices go above $3, these business owners advertise their prices by the half-gallon.

“These businesses are typically small mom-n-pop taverns that choose to sell fuel as a convenience for recreational patrons,” said Felzkowski. “These pumps are particularly vital to those using the snowmobile and ATV trails.”

Recently, the Weights & Measures and Petroleum Inspection Division of the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has deemed half-gallon advertising to be out of compliance and is requiring owners to make changes.  In many cases, compliance would require these small-scale proprietors to purchase new pumps, of which the cost outweighs any benefit of selling fuel. This bill would change this requirement so that retailers selling less than 15,000 gallons of motor fuel in Wisconsin per year can advertise their prices by the half-gallon.

“These taverns are often the only locations offering fuel for miles along the trails. This bill is a simple fix that can help keep these pumps up and running, and can keep our tourists safe.”

The Wisconsin Assembly approved this measure with broad bipartisan support. It now goes to the Senate for approval.

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