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CONTACT:DOACS Press Office Terence McElroy 850-488-3022 mcelrot@doacs.state.fl.us

Bronson Asks Residents To Report Price Gouging

TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today urged state residents to report any instances of price gouging to his department in the wake of approaching Hurricane Dennis.

Under Florida law, it is unlawful to charge exorbitant or excessive prices for essential items, including shelter, gasoline, food, water, ice, generators or lumber, following the declaration of an emergency, unless the increases in the amount charged are attributable to additional costs incurred by retailers.

Governor Jeb Bush declared an emergency earlier today, triggering the activation of the price-gouging statute.

Individuals or businesses found to have engaged in price gouging face fines of up to $1,000 per violation, or up to a maximum fine of $25,000 a day.

Were asking consumers to come forward and let us know if any retailers have exploited our citizens or are profiteering from the approaching storm, Bronson said. This activity is not only reprehensible, its illegal.

The price-gouging hotline will be staffed on Saturday and Sunday during the day and citizens will also be able to leave voice mails if they call in the evening. Every complaint is investigated by the Department. Citizens are asked to call 1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352) with any reports of price-gouging.

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Last updated: November 09, 2007

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