Florida Looks For Price Gougers

By: James Buechele, Associated Press Email
By: James Buechele, Associated Press Email

Tallahassee, Florida- August 28, 2012

The state's price gouging hotline has been lighting up in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaac.

By Tuesday morning, Florida Attorney General's Office had received 53 price gouging complaints. Spokesman John Lucas says many of the complaints have to do with gasoline prices.

Florida prohibits vendors from grossly exceeding the average price of a commodity during a state of emergency unless the seller can justify the cost. Violators face civil penalties up to $1,000 per violation and up to $25,000 for multiple violations in a 24-hour period.

Suspected price gouging can be reported to the state's hotline at 866-966-7226.

Donarey Sanders has been running his own lawn care service for 15 years.

"It seems like every day it gets worse and worse," said Sanders.

Everyday, it costs him about $150 to fill up his vehicle and equipment. The increase in gas prices because of the storm and approaching Labor Day weekend isn't helping.

"I drive all over Tallahassee and I stop to the cheapest place to fill up."

Some drivers feel the measures placed by the state is not enough to stop price gouging.

"Tallahassee's not so bad but South Florida is suffering," said Tallahassee resident Sharon Westover.

So as Labor Day looms, some drivers are just hoping for divine intervention.

"I mean we pray for a drop," said local driver Davon Mills. "Just drop the prices. That's all. That's it."

If you want to know the cheapest gallon of gas near you. Got to the business tab of our website and click gas prices. Then type in your zip code and a list will pop up.

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