With Winter Storm Warnings posted for parts of Mississippi, Attorney General Jim Hood is reminding residents and business owners of the legalities concerning price gouging during a state of emergency.
"Not every instance of raised prices is actually price gouging," explains Attorney General Jim Hood. "Businesses can raise their prices in order to recover actual expenditures. In other words, if it costs them more to provide an item to the public, they can pass that expense along to the consumer.
In the case of gas station owners, they cannot charge more for their fuel already in the ground before the emergency only on new truck loads if it costs them more to bring the product in."
However, consumers should be aware that a state of emergency declaration does not necessarily give law enforcement the means to enforce and investigate reports of price gouging. The Governor must include specific language in the declaration in order to "activate" the price gouging statute. "
Violations of Mississippi's price gouging laws could result in one to five years behind bars per count. Any business owners with questions about the law and any consumers with complaints can contact the AG's Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-281-4418. Consumers may go to agjimhood.com for more information.
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