Wisconsin Reinstates Gas Markup

Despite 19 months without a minimum markup law on gasoline in Wisconsin-during which time customers enjoyed cents off per gallons and mom and pop stores continued to thrive-the law has been reinstated, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

On Friday, a federal appeals court brought Wisconsin’s minimum markup law on gasoline back from the grave, saying the state can legally require higher-priced gas if it so desires, overruling a judge who suspended the law in early 2009 on constitutional grounds.

The minimum markup law bans the sale of products at below cost and, in some cases, requires prices to be marked up to minimum levels. Gas is required to be marked up 9.18% over the local wholesale price or 6% over cost-whichever is higher, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Those in favor of the law claim it prevents big businesses from temporarily dropping prices to run small competitors out of business or scare away new competition.

Gov. Jim Doyle sides with consumers seeking repeal of the minimum markup law on gas and other products. The major candidates hoping to replace him this fall are in favor of the markup law.

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