No Price Gouging Allowed, Says State Attorney General

California Attorney General logoPress release from the California Attorney General:

 Amid historic wildfires, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today called on the California Hotel & Lodging Association, North Bay Association of Realtors, and California Apartment Association to help educate their members about the State’s anti-price gouging statute.

“As wildfires rage across California, it’s vital to broadcast to all that our State’s price gouging law protects people impacted by an emergency from illegal price gouging on housing, gas, food, and other essential supplies,” said Attorney General Becerra. “This is not a matter that I take lightly — the blazes have claimed numerous lives and have displaced thousands throughout our communities. As the state’s top law enforcement officer, I am prepared to prosecute those unscrupulous individuals who try to turn a profit at the expense of our neighbors and friends. I encourage anyone who is aware of price gouging to immediately file a complaint through my office’s website,, or call (800) 952-5225.”

Under Penal Code Section 396, it is illegal to charge a price for an item that exceeds, by more than 10 percent, the price of that item before the declaration of a state or local emergency. This law applies to hotel accommodations and rental housing, repair or reconstruction services, emergency cleanup services, transportation, and freight and storage services. The law also applies to those who sell food, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials and gasoline.

Violators of the price gouging statute are subject to criminal prosecution that can result in a one-year imprisonment in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Violators are also subject to civil enforcement actions including civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, injunctive relief and mandatory restitution. The Attorney General and local district attorneys can enforce the statute.

A copy of the letters is attached to the electronic version of this release at



  • What about the Humboldt price gouging that happens daily because the businesses assume we all have massive amounts of disposable income. I saved 14k by not buying my truck around here. There shouldn’t be that much of a difference between dealerships.

  • An interesting s(h)ituation for a fact, with no good reasons, just plain greed because we are “isolated”!!!

    • We are not isolated hahaha. Modoc county is isolated. Humboldt is not isolated. Not even southern humboldt. 45 miles to a large city is not isolated or rural, so lets all say that excuse is bs. I lived in modoc county for years. 200 miles to the nearest large city, birthing centers, and any store larger than a rite aid. That was rural and isolated, and their prices on pretty much everything there are still cheaper than here. You can rent a 4 bedroom house for less than what people rent trailers for out here. Its ridiculous.

      • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

        Wait, does supply and demand not operate here? Why do you think pot sells for $400/lb? If it’s too expensive, don’t buy it! Screw Humboldt County, it’s crazy-land anyway!

  • Fans of free markets must hate this.

  • Free markets, for the most part, do not exist. They are a fantasy of the far-right to justify this clearly screwed up system we call an economy. And therein lies the fault with conservatism. People always move to monopoly when motivated by greed. And therein lies the need for government.

  • We are already getting gouged in the housing market up here, i.e. Arcata.

    Maybe the price of weed will go up too.

  • You KNOW enforcement officials are all over this! Rental houses in Santa Rosa region are up +20% in the surrounding areas. Ukiah is experiencing the same problems. Gasoline is up just as much in NorCal.
    We can all feel better now that Attorney General Becerra has issued this press release. Everyone can raise their prices 10% now LEGALLY and feel good about it. I guess there’s people that will afford it. Must be nice!

  • Rays and shopsmart on the shit list!

  • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

    The price of stuff, and probably the fires and the presence of drugs and crazy folk, that’s the universe’s way of punishing a sinful and evil culture. Heard of karma? Enjoy it!

    Now go and sin no more…

  • illegal pyro sanctuary

    don’t you wish they would visit rays in garberville and shopsmart in redway? and all other surrounding gougers!

  • Watson Well, please dont gouge people. before a system replacemnt, i asked for a ballpark. redflag #1 cant tell you a ballpark price, even though they only sell 1 manufacture w few products. redflag #2 itemized list does not itemise labor. they did include all the parts they replaced on the invoice, (pump and controler (sold together) and power pack. I emailed Lorentz solar water pumping company and they send me a suggested retail price for the parts. I printed this information out and brought it with me when making the payment and Don broke out in sweat and fumbled to know that someone did their homework and they were taking advantage of a situation by grossly overchaging someone was out of drinking water. I paid bill in full, went about my way

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