SECTION 1. Chapter 255D of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting, after the definition of “Installment seller”, the following definition:-
“Interchange fee”, the fee a merchant’s financial institution pays to a cardholder’s financial institution when a cardholder uses a credit card or debit card as payment during a retail transaction.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 255D of the General Laws is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-
Section 33. Financial institutions may not charge interchange fees or transaction fees on the sales tax portion of credit or debit card charges where the fee or charge is a percentage of the gross dollar amount of the transaction.
Any merchant whose rights under this section have been violated may maintain a civil action for damages or equitable relief. Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of $5,000 per violation.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the meals tax and sales tax portion of a sale shall not be included in the total amount charged to the merchant by the credit card company.
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