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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Visa fights back against Florida Retail Federation



When you swipe your credit card at Publix, Home Depot or Wal-Mart, state law says the retailer can't charge you a transaction fee. Instead, the retailer has to pay it to the credit-card company. That's according to a decades-old state law that was passed before the rise of debit cards. And that means a retailer could charge you a transaction fee if you use your debit card.

But most retailers don't charge the fee. So the Florida Retail Federation initially said it supported Democratic Reps. Mary Brandenburg and Ari Porth's HB 621, which ensure that debit-card users aren't hit with fees.


When the box-box boys realized what happened, they began to lobby against the bill, which passed the House unanimously on Friday. It's a spillover Washington battle over transaction fees that just hit Tallahassee.

Now, Visa is making FRF pay. It took out full-page ads today in the St. Petersburg Times, the Tribune and the Tallahassee Democrat today. The same ads will soon appear in the Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post. Thanks for not advertising in the Miami Herald, guys.

The senior group 60 Plus is also phone-banking the issue to make sure it reaches a fever pitch to pass the Senate. Bad week for the federation. Not only is this exploding on the lobby, but the NRA's gun-to-work issue is back and that's the last thing the business lobby wants to deal with.

-- Marc Caputo

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:31am]


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