In response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s declaration of a state of emergency, California Attorney General Rob Bonta warned consumers that price gouging during the state’s series of storms is illegal.
Bonta issued a consumer alert reminding residents that it is against the law for sellers to increase prices by over 10 percent. The law applies to sellers with food, emergency or medical supplies, building materials and gasoline for sale.
Also prohibited are extreme price spikes for reconstruction services, cleanup services, transportation services and rental housing and hotel accommodations.
Sellers are exempt from the prohibition if the price of labor, goods or materials have increased.
Violators are subject to fines up to $10,000 or a one-year county jail sentence, and civil penalties.
Californians who believe they were a victim of price gouging are urged to report the incident to local authorities or to Bonta’s office at oag.ca.gov/report.