Sunday, December 4th, 2016

State mandated gas gouging

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State Senator Tom Reynolds reminds us that one of the reasons gas prices are so high is because Wisconsin law mandates a a guaranteed profit for gas stations.

If you are stunned by the skyrocketing price of gasoline, there is still a chance to change state law to lower the price of gasoline before the Legislature adjourns this spring. If enough public pressure is brought upon state legislators to pass Senate Bill 648 gas prices in Wisconsin could fall by 15.3 cents per gallon overnight. That would be a welcome relief for state motorists who saw the price of gasoline spike by 10 cents a gallon to $2.99 this past Monday (April 18).

The Wisconsin Unfair Sales Act was passed in the 1930s when government price fixing was thought of as a possible solution to massive unemployment rates. Today, the Unfair Sales Act is a state mandate that guarantees hefty profits for gas retailers at a time when gas prices could hit $3.50 a gallon.

If lawmakers change state law that mandates gasoline prices be marked up 9.18 percent to a more reasonable limit like Minnesota’s minimum markup of eight cent per gallon, Wisconsin motorists could save up to $812 million a year at the pump.

Senator Reynolds’ proposed senate bill 648 would do just that, actually.

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