SB 1541 & HB 3395 save restaurants, hotels, retailers, and other merchants thousands of dollars in fees when they are required to collect state and local taxes

Austin, TX, March 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On March 3, 2023, Senator Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound, TX) and Representative Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller, TX) filed SB 1541 and HB 3395, shielding Texas merchants from costly swipe fees when they are required to collect taxes on behalf of state and local governments. This swipe fee fairness legislation will save Texas businesses over $587 million a year without creating any new costs for the government or Texas consumers.

Like legislation filed in other states, Texas’ swipe fee fairness bill prevents banks and card companies like VISA and Mastercard from charging merchants a swipe fee when they collect sales, alcohol, hotel occupancy, and other consumption taxes on behalf of the government. Currently, merchants like restaurants, hotels, and retailers pay card processors a fee ranging from 2-5% on every transaction, including any taxes they are required to collect and send to the government. Swipe fee fairness legislation acknowledges that main street businesses have very little control over these costs because they are required by law to collect taxes, nearly 67% of payments are made with a credit or debit card, and merchants have little to no negotiating power with card processors.

“We are incredibly grateful to Sen. Parker and Rep. Capriglione for filing swipe fee fairness legislation in Texas,” said Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President & CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. “Swipe fees have become one of restaurants’ highest costs—behind only food and labor—requiring even small, family run restaurants to spend thousands of dollars a year to collect taxes that they must turnover to our government. Restaurants play a critical role in our economy and in our communities; we shouldn’t expect these main street businesses to pay costly fees to collect our government’s taxes.”

“Our mom-and-pop shops operate on thin margins where every penny counts,” said Annie Spilman, Texas State Director for NFIB. “Unfortunately, as swipe fees have more than doubled since 2012, those margins have only continued to shrink. Skyrocketing inflation acts as a multiplier, since swipe fees are a percentage of each sale. Our members are grateful to Sen. Parker and Rep. Capriglione for introducing this legislation to ensure our small business owners can continue to keep their doors open and meet their customers’ needs.” 

Erika Boyd, President & CEO of the Texas Travel Alliance echoed these sentiments: “The majority of businesses in the travel sector are small businesses. Rising swipe fees are detrimental to our small businesses who often are operating on very small margins, and coupled with inflation, many are struggling to stay afloat.”

"Retailers are proud to help power the Texas economic engine that relies in large part on our state's business-friendly environment," added John McCord, Executive Director of the Texas Retailers Association. “The legislation proposed by Sen. Parker and Rep. Capriglione will help fight inflation, keep consumer costs down, and spur economic growth."

Main street businesses look forward to working with Sen. Parker, Rep. Capriglione, and their colleagues in the Texas Legislature to pass swipe fee fairness legislation during the current legislative session that ends on May 29, 2023.


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