Oklahoma’s Emergency Price Stabilization Act in Effect for 12 Counties

April 18, 2012

Oklahoma’s Emergency Price Stabilization Act is now in effect for 12 Oklahoma counties after Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency due to tornadoes, severe storms, straight line winds and flooding that began Friday.

The counties included in the declaration are: Alfalfa, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Ellis, Harper, Jackson, Kiowa, Logan, Oklahoma, Woods and Woodward.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Oklahoma’s price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a state of emergency has been declared.

“The severe storms that crossed the state this weekend left behind damage to personal and business property that will need to be repaired. The overwhelming majority of Oklahomans are focused on helping their neighbors in the aftermath, but we have seen a few cases of price gouging and fraudulent claims in the past, so consumers need to be aware,” Pruitt said.

The price gouging statute was adopted following tornadoes in May 1999 that caused significant damage across a large portion of Oklahoma.

The statute says no person for the duration of a declaration of emergency by the Governor of this state or by the President of the United States and for 30 days thereafter shall sell, rent, lease or offer to sell, rent or lease for delivery in the emergency area any goods, services, dwelling units or storage space in the emergency area at a rate or price which is more than 10 percent above the rate or price charged by the person for the same or similar goods, services, dwelling units or storage spaces immediately prior to the declaration of emergency unless the increase in rate or price is attributable to price increases in applicable regional, national or international petroleum commodity markets or only factors unrelated to the emergency and does not include any increase in profit to the seller or owner.

Additionally, the act is in effect for another 180 days for prices to repairs, remodeling and construction.

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