New York City, like Philadelphia and San Francisco, affirmed consumers’ right to choose cash as a payment option when they shop at stores and restaurants. The initiative filed as Int. No. 1281-A and titled Prohibiting food stores and retail establishments from refusing to accept payment in cash
, won a 43-to-3 vote by New York City Council on Jan. 23, 2020, more than a year after being introduced by councilmember Ritchie D. Torres, D-15th district, and co-sponsors on Nov. 28, 2018.
When passed, the local law will amend the city’s administrative code and assess penalties of up to $1,500 to retail and hospitality establishments that refuse to accept cash. The NYCC’s Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing approved the bill; council members expect New York mayor Bill DeBlasio to sign it into law.