MacIver Institute
Press Release

MacIver Institute applauds introduction of minimum markup bill

Will Wisconsin consumers finally see relief from government-mandated higher prices?

By - Apr 19th, 2017 10:36 am

[Madison, Wisc…] On Tuesday, Sens. Vukmir and Craig and Reps. Ott and Murphy introduced a bill to repeal portions of Wisconsin’s antiquated Unfair Sales Act. Also known as the minimum markup law, the Unfair Sales Act mandates higher prices and outlaws the sale of retail goods at below cost.

The minimum markup law requires that alcohol, tobacco, and motor fuel are marked up 3 percent at the wholesale level, 6 percent at the retail level for alcohol and tobacco, and 9.18 percent at the retail level for motor fuel. It also forbids retailers from selling most other products below cost.

While the new bill is drafted narrowly, the MacIver Institute welcomed the renewed attention on the larger problem:

“I want to thank Sen. Vukmir, Sen. Craig, Rep. Ott, and Rep. Murphy for their willingness to, once again, raise awareness on this commonsense and overdue consumer-friendly reform. As we have witnessed in the past, the status quo special interests will stop at nothing to keep this Depression-era unjust law on the books,” MacIver Institute President Brett Healy said.

“The political pressure to stay silent on this issue and to never utter the words ‘minimum markup’ is suffocating within the Capitol. The authors of this repeal bill deserve credit for sticking to their free market principles and speaking out about this consumer injustice,” Healy added.

Wisconsinites overwhelmingly oppose the minimum markup law. A 2015 poll found that 56 percent of likely voters in Wisconsin support its repeal. Support for repeal increases to 76 percent when respondents were informed about the law’s specifics.

Informed opposition to the law is no surprise. The MacIver Institute found the minimum markup law led to significantly higher back-to-school prices in Wisconsin, and made Black Friday doorbuster deals illegal. Also, Amazon Prime day became Amazon Crime day in Wisconsin thanks to this law.

“It is not the proper role of government to prevent consumers from getting a good deal or finding a crazy low price,” Healy said.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by MacIver Institute

Gov. Evers’ “Badger Bounce Back” Plan Not A Real Plan

We Don’t Need More Hurdles Governor Evers - We Need To Reopen

The MacIver Institute: Governor Evers Is Wrong To Extend “Safer at Home”

The Permanent Damage That Extending “Safer at Home” Order Will Inflict On Our Families, Friends And Neighbors Is Not Supported By Science Or Common Sense

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us