A number of stores have been caught price gouging in Texas as a result of the natural disasters hitting the area. Hurricane Harvey has brought trillions of gallons of rain water and the single state has received more rain at once than any other recorded period in United States history. The amount of water is several times more than that of Hurricane Katrina.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: David J. Phillip/AP</span>
While numerous organizations have been donating to disaster relief, some businesses in Texas have been taking advantage of desperate people by price gouging. Price gouging happens when supplies run short and stores begin charging more for the items than they are actually worth. Price gauging in Texas has seen 1 case of water bottles being sold for as much as $99. According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, some gas stations are charging between $4 and $10 a gallon. One gas station was even reported to be charging $20 per gallon, that is almost ten times the states average. Paxton also said that the state has received more than 500 complaints about price gauging already.
Many of these gas stations involved in price gouging were taking advantage of people trying to flee the disaster. Even hotels have been getting in on the action with some reported to be charging three to four times the regular cost. These business however were short term gain for a potential long term loss, the fine for price gougers is between $20,00 and $250,000 for every incidence of gouging during natural disasters.
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