YONKERS — Mayor Mike Spano is urging residents to call the Yonkers Consumer Protection Helpline at (914)-377-3000 if they notice an unusually high spike in gas prices at a particular service station in the city.
After Spano raised a red flag about Ultimate Quality Food and Fuel Mart in late August, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found that the Elm Street gas station had illegally raised its prices while Tropical Storm Irene swept through the city.
The gas station was ordered to pay $7,500 in civil penalties for allegedly hiking its per-gallon price from $3.82 to $4.79 despite its wholesale price rising at a much lower rate.
“Unfortunately, price gouging has occurred during times of rising gas prices and following major weather-related events as we experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene last summer,” Spano said in a statement this past week. “We are sending a warning to vendors that inspectors are monitoring gas prices and strong action will be taken to fully prosecute any vendor found in violation of the law.”
The state’s general business law prohibits “unconscionably excessive” price increases during and “abnormal disruption of the market,” such as a natural disaster.
“It’s hard enough to afford current gas prices, especially for those who must drive to work every day,” Spano said. “We are taking a proactive approach to preventing any action that would further burden Yonkers consumers.”