Gas Station Owner Says Minimum Markup Law is Unconstitutional

By: Michael Lauber Email
By: Michael Lauber Email

A Merrill gas station owner who says the state forced him to stop giving fuel discounts to senior citizens is fighting the decision in Madison.

Raj Bhandari says the law that requires a minimum markup for Wisconsin gas stations is unconstitutional.

Employees at the gas station say they’ve seen a lot of support for Bhandari’s fight from customers– especially because of the nature of the discounts the gas station was offering.

They were giving a 2 cent per gallon discount to senior citizens, and donated 3 cents a gallon to Merrill’s Youth Hockey Association when customers showed a discount card.

But the state said that was a violation of Wisconsin’s Fair Competition Law.

Raj stopped the discounts immediately, but today, he’s in Madison taking the decision to court.

His employees admire his efforts.

“If I could be in Madison today, I would,” said Annette Stover, a sales clerk at Merrill’s Center City BP. “I’d be right with him, rallying because I feel for the seniors, especially, when they come in.”

She also tells me Raj is not looking to get anything back for the station, but really just wants to get the law changed so gas stations are able to offer similar discounts.

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