Bill Text: NJ S2946 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Prohibits refiners of motor fuels from passing costs associated with certain payment cards to distributors of motor fuels.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-09-17 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Commerce Committee [S2946 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S2946-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 2946

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  GERALD CARDINALE

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits refiners of motor fuels from passing costs associated with certain payment cards to distributors of motor fuels.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act prohibiting passing of costs associated with certain payment cards to distributors of motor fuels and amending P.L.1938, c.163.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 101 of P.L.1938, c.163 (C.56:6-1) is amended to read as follows:

     101.   Words used in this act, unless otherwise expressly stated, or unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, shall have the following meaning:

     "Person" shall mean and include natural persons and partnerships, firms, associations, joint stock companies, syndicates and corporations and any receiver, trustee, conservator or other officer appointed pursuant to law by any court, State or Federal.  The use of the singular number shall include the plural number.

     "Retail dealer" any person operating a service station, filling station, store, garage or other place of business for the sale of motor fuel for delivery into the service tank or tanks of any vehicle propelled by an internal  combustion engine.

     "Motor fuel" shall mean (a) all products commonly or commercially known or  sold as gasoline (including casinghead and absorption or natural gasoline), benzol, benzene, or naphtha regardless of their classification or uses; and  (b) any liquid prepared, advertised, offered for sale or sold for use as or  commonly and commercially used as a fuel in internal combustion engines, which  when subjected to distillation in accordance with the standard method of test  for distillation of gasoline, naphtha, kerosene and similar petroleum products  (American Society of Testing Material Designation D-86) shows not less than ten  per centum (10%) distilled (recovered) below three hundred forty-seven degrees  (347`) Fahrenheit (one hundred seventy-five degrees (175`) Centigrade) and not less than ninety-five per centum (95%) distilled (recovered) below four hundred sixty-four degrees (464`) Fahrenheit (two hundred forty degrees (240`) Centigrade);  and (c) any other product or liquid when sold for use as a fuel  in any type of internal combustion engine furnishing power to operate a motor  vehicle.

     "Sale" shall have its ordinary meaning and, in addition, shall include any exchange, gift or other disposition; and "purchase" shall include any acquisition of ownership.

     "Selling expense" includes all overhead and general business expense.

     "Commissioner" shall mean the State Tax Commissioner.

     "Distributor" means a person who acquires motor fuel from a supplier, permissive supplier or from another distributor for subsequent sale.

(cf: P.L.1938, c.401 s.1)

 

     2.    Section 201 of P.L.1938, c.163 (C.56:6-2) is amended to read as follows:

     201.   (a)   Every retail dealer shall publicly display and maintain, in the manner regulated by the Director of the Division of Taxation, a sign stating the price per gallon if sold by the gallon, and per gallon and per liter if sold by the liter of the motor fuel sold by said dealer. All taxes, State and Federal, imposed with respect to the manufacture or sale of motor fuel shall be included in the price shown on said sign, but said sign shall contain a statement of the amount of taxes included in said price, or, without specifying the amount thereof, said sign shall state that taxes are included in said price.  A retail dealer shall not sell at any other price than the price, including tax, so posted.  Any such price when posted shall remain posted and in effect for a period of not less than twenty-four (24) hours.

     (b)   No retail dealer shall sell motor fuel at a price which is below the net cost of such motor fuel to the retail dealer plus all selling expenses.

     (c)   No other price signs of motor fuel so dispensed, or signs relating to the price of such fuel shall be used or displayed on or about the premises where motor fuel is sold at retail, other than the signs provided by section 3 of P.L.1952, c.258 (C.56:6-2.3).

     (d)   No advertising or sign other than that provided for in section 3 of P.L.1952, c.258 (C.56:6-2.3), which directly or indirectly contains a statement of, or an implied reference to the price of motor fuel shall be displayed at any place where motor fuel is dispensed at retail.  Any advertising of the retail price of motor fuel through any other medium which contains a reference to the per gallon or per liter price thereof, shall include all taxes in the price stated, and there shall be included in such advertising a statement that such price includes taxes, or a statement of the amount of taxes which are included in such price. Such advertising shall be identified by the name of the product, and the letters of the name shall be not less than one-half the size of the figures used in the price.

     (e)   No rebates, allowances, concessions or benefits shall be given, directly or indirectly, so as to permit any person to obtain motor fuels from a retail dealer below the posted price or at a net price lower than the posted price applicable at the time of the sale, except that credits earned through purchases on a credit card, debit card, or rewards card may be utilized by a person to receive a rebate, allowance, concession, or benefit in the purchase of motor fuels, provided that:  (1) the use of credits earned through purchases on a credit card, debit card, or rewards card shall not change the retail price displayed on any sign required pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1952, c.258 (C.56:6-2.3); and (2) the retail dealer or distributor shall not be responsible for any of the costs associated with the rebate, allowance, concession, or benefit received by the motor fuel purchaser except for any interchange fees and transaction fees associated with the use of a credit card or debit card by a customer for the purchase of motor fuels.

     As used in this subsection, "rewards card" means a card or certificate distributed by the issuer to a consumer pursuant to an awards, loyalty, rewards, or promotional program, or used to benefit frequent shoppers or to collect data on purchasing habits.

     (f)   It shall be unlawful for any retail dealer to use lotteries, wheels of fortune, punchboards or other games of chance, in connection with the sale of motor fuels.

     (g)   All above-ground equipment for storing or dispensing motor fuel operated by a retail dealer shall bear, in a conspicuous place, the name or trade-mark of the product stored therein or dispensed therefrom, and no retail dealer shall permit delivery into underground or above-ground containers, tanks or equipment of any motor fuel other than the brand represented or designated by the name or trade-mark appearing on such container or dispensing equipment attached thereto.  No retail dealer shall be a party to the substitution of one grade of motor fuel for another.

     (h)   If the motor fuel stored in or dispensed from any above-ground equipment by a retail dealer shall not have a brand name or trade-mark, such container or dispensing equipment shall have conspicuously displayed thereon the words "No Brand."

(cf: P.L.2015, c.44)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the 30th day next following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that distributors of motor fuels may not be held responsible for any of the costs associated with a rebate, allowance, concession, or benefit received by a motor fuel purchaser for use of a payment card associated with a motor fuel brand.

     Many motor fuel refiners give consumers discounts on their brand of motor fuel if the consumer uses a payment card associated with the motor fuel brand.  These discounts are an exception to the law that provides that retail dealers of motor fuel must sell motor fuel at a price which is below the net cost of the motor fuel to the retail dealer plus all selling expenses, and may not offer rebates, allowances, concessions or benefits.

     Current law prohibits refiners from passing the costs associated with these discounts to motor fuel dealers.  This bill extends that prohibition to also prohibit refiners from passing costs associated with discounts for payment cards associated with motor fuel brands to distributors of motor fuels.

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