(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Commodity" means any goods, services, materials, merchandise, supplies, equipment, resources, or other article of commerce, and includes, without limitation, food, water, ice, chemicals, petroleum products, and lumber necessary for consumption or use as a direct result of the emergency.
(b) It is prima facie evidence that a price is unconscionable if:
(2) Upon a declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor, it is unlawful and a violation of s. 501.204 for a person or his agent or employee to rent or sell or offer to rent or sell at an unconscionable price within the area for which the state of emergency is declared, any essential commodity including, but not limited to, supplies, services, provisions, or equipment that is necessary for consumption or use as a direct result of the emergency. This prohibition remains in effect until the declaration expires or is terminated.
(3) It is unlawful and a violation of s. 501.204 for any person to impose unconscionable prices for the rental or lease of any dwelling unit or self-storage facility during a period of declared state of emergency.
(4) A price increase approved by an appropriate government agency shall not be a violation of this section.
(5) This section shall not apply to sales by growers, producers, or processors of raw or processed food products, except for retail sales of such products to the ultimate consumer within the area of the declared state of emergency.
(6) Nothing herein shall be interpreted to preempt the powers of local government except that the evidentiary standards and defenses contained in this section shall be the only evidentiary standards and defenses used in any ordinance adopted by local government to restrict price gouging during a declared state of emergency.
(7) Section 501.211 notwithstanding, nothing in this section creates a private cause of action in favor of any person damaged by a violation of this section.
History: s. 1, ch. 92-353.
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Source: Florida Statute 501.160: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/citizen/documents/statutes/1993/chapter%5F501%5F160.html