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April 24, 2024

Price gouging law in effect in Alexander

On Nov. 9, Attorney General Josh Stein announced that North Carolina’s price gouging law is now being extended to more western North Carolina counties after Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency.

The price gouging ban now includes the following areas: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rowan, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey counties, as well as Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribal lands. If you see potential price gouging, you can report it to our office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint at https://ncdoj.gov/pricegouging.

“As the situation in western North Carolina continues, please make sure that you are vigilant for excessive price increases,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “If you see it, report it to my office so we can do everything in our power to make sure people are treated fairly during times of crisis.”

In North Carolina, the price gouging statute goes into effect when the Governor, the legislature, a county, or a municipality declare a state of emergency. Sometimes, businesses and industries that are heavily affected by the incident that caused the state of emergency have a reasonable need to increase prices in order to resupply, but they should disclose these increases so people can make informed purchasing decisions. Businesses cannot unreasonably raise the price of goods or services to profit from an emergency.

The Department of Justice has enforced North Carolina’s price gouging law in the past and is prepared to take action against any person or business engaging in price gouging.

On Nov. 8, Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency in response to the ongoing wildfires in Western North Carolina and the continued drought conditions throughout the state.

“I am grateful for the first responders who have jumped into action to help combat the ongoing wildfires in Western North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “The fires and the continued droughts across the state pose a risk to public health and safety and we want to ensure that all residents and their property remain safe and protected.”

The Executive Order will coordinate and support emergency response operations among North Carolina entities and officials to ensure the protection and safety of North Carolina residents.

The emergency area is specified to encompass Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Mitchell, Polk, Rowan, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Union, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties as well as tribal lands in the State of North Carolina held by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

“The current wildfires, combined with the ongoing drought and weather forecast have increased our risk for additional fire activity, especially in the western part of our state. This emergency declaration will help facilitate getting the needed resources to combat these wildfires, to save lives and property, and to support our local jurisdictions and agencies, as well as state partners who are engaged in fighting these fires.” said Will Ray, Director of North Carolina Emergency Management. “We are incredibly proud of the North Carolina Forest Service, local fire departments, and the US Forest Service who have stepped up to combat these fires and protect our state.”

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