Give us a break at the pump, repeal minimum markup

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Whenever you fill up your car's tank with gas, you are paying more than you should have to in Wisconsin. That is because of the old and outdated Unfair Sales Act, more commonly known as the minimum mark-up law. This law dates back to the depression era, requiring Wisconsin gas stations to sell their gas at a rate at least 9.18% more than they pay for it. It is designed to protect mom and pop operators from being forced out of business by the big chains, which without the law could undercut them on price. There is little evidence the law ever worked, and even less evidence it is working today. Take a look. There are no more mom and pops. The gasoline retail industry has changed. This law prevents gas retailers from competing with one another on price, and forces us to pay more than we should at the pump. The free market, not the government, should decide how much we are charged at the pump. Rep. Dale Kooyenga recognizes that, and is introducing legislation that wouldn't do away with the minimum mark-up entirely, but would reduce the rate from more than nine percent to three percent. That would put the free market back in charge, and help us save a few bucks whenever we fill up our tanks.