Action Sought on Fractions

Minn. senator mulls whole-cent gas prices

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota State Senator Dick Day (R) wants to force gas stations in his state to get rid of fractional gasoline pricing, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Day said the practice comes from a time when pennies had more buying power. Today, he said, the fractions are "just plain silly."

He said that he plans to push a bill in the upcoming legislative session to require gasoline prices to be in whole cents. He said the measure would result in more truthful advertising.

Iowa reportedly [image-nocss] banned the fractional pricing of motor fuel from 1985 to 1989.

The origin of the practice has become obscured, and the subject has entered into the realm of urban legend. Some speculate that it was born out of fierce competition dating back to the 1930s and continuing today. Some say that it is simply a marketing ploy to make fuel seem a bit less expensive. And others say that it resulted from government regulation of fuel prices and taxes.