2010 Arkansas Code
Title 4 - Business and Commercial Law
Subtitle 7 - Consumer Protection
Chapter 88 - Deceptive Trade Practices
Subchapter 3 - Protection of Consumers from Price Gouging and Unfair Pricing Practices During and Shortly After a State of Emergency
§ 4-88-303 - Prohibited unfair pricing practices.

4-88-303. Prohibited unfair pricing practices.

(a) (1) Upon the proclamation of a state of emergency resulting from a tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, riot, storm, or natural or man-made disaster declared by the President of the United States or the Governor and upon the declaration of a local emergency resulting from a tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, riot, storm, or natural or man-made disaster by the executive officer of any city or county and for a period of thirty (30) days following that declaration or during any period of time during which a red condition under the Homeland Security Advisory System has been declared by either the United States Department of Homeland Security or the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, it is unlawful for any person, contractor, business, or other entity to sell or offer to sell any consumer food items or goods, goods or services used for emergency cleanup, emergency supplies, medical supplies, home heating oil, building materials, housing, transportation, freight, and storage services, or gasoline or other motor fuels for a price of more than ten percent (10%) above the price charged by that person for those goods or services immediately prior to the proclamation of emergency.

(2) However, a greater price increase shall not be unlawful if that person can prove that the increase in price was directly attributable to additional costs imposed on it by the supplier of the goods or directly attributable to additional costs for labor or materials used to provide the services, provided that in those situations where the increase in price is attributable to additional costs imposed by the seller's supplier or additional costs of providing the good or service during the state of emergency, the price represents no more than ten percent (10%) above the total of the cost to the seller plus the markup customarily applied by the seller for that good or service in the usual course of business immediately prior to the onset of the state of emergency.

(b) (1) Upon the proclamation of a state of emergency resulting from a tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, riot, or storm declared by the President of the United States or the Governor, or upon the declaration of a local emergency resulting from a tornado, earthquake, flood, fire, riot, or storm by the executive officer of any city or county, and for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days following that declaration, it is unlawful for any contractor to sell or offer to sell any repair or reconstruction services or any services used in emergency cleanup for a price of more than ten percent (10%) above the price charged by that person for those services immediately prior to the proclamation of emergency.

(2) However, a greater price increase shall not be unlawful if that person can prove that the increase in price was directly attributable to additional costs imposed on it by the supplier of the goods or directly attributable to additional costs for labor or materials used to provide the services, provided that in those situations where the increase in price is attributable to the additional costs imposed by the contractor's supplier or additional costs of providing the service during the state of emergency, the price represents no more than ten percent (10%) above the total of the cost to the contractor plus the markup customarily applied by the contractor for that good or service in the usual course of business immediately prior to the onset of the state of emergency.

(c) The provisions of this section may be extended for additional thirty-day periods by a local governing body or the General Assembly if deemed necessary to protect the lives, property, or welfare of the citizens.

(d) Any business offering an item for sale at a reduced price immediately prior to the proclamation of the emergency may use the price at which it usually sells the item to calculate the price pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section.

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