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   The City Council finds that, pursuant to Chapter 2, Article 9 ROA 1994 et seq., during a declared state of emergency, it is in the public interest to prohibit price gouging in the conduct of any trade or commerce in the city. During times of emergency, some sellers may take unfair advantage of consumers by greatly increasing prices for vital goods and services. The City Council also finds that, during times of emergency, the public health, safety, and welfare are best served when the community unites to protect and serve all Albuquerque residents, including our most vulnerable populations. Price gouging during an emergency must not put vital goods and services, such as food, medicine, and emergency supplies, out of the reach of the Albuquerque residents who need them.
   While under ordinary conditions the pricing of consumer goods and services is generally best left to the marketplace, when abnormal disruptions of the market result from a declared state of emergency, the public interest requires that excessive and unjustified increases in the prices of vital goods and services be prohibited, pursuant to Chapter 2, Article 9 ROA 1994 et seq.
   The City Council finds that an anti-price gouging ordinance will protect the City of Albuquerque and its  residents  from  excessive  and unjustified increases in the prices charged for goods and services that are vital and necessary to the health, safety, or welfare of consumers during or shortly after a declared state of emergency.
(Ord. 2020-020)