The Penny Debate

Fey on Crowe SheaSeriously? I thought this was an April Fools joke when I first heard about it because anyone who’s ever handled money would know how stupid getting rid of the penny would be.

First of all, there’s the whole pricing psychology thing. This place charges $X.98, that one charges $X.97. Oh, and that one over there charges $X.99. Obviously a penny makes a difference.

And let’s not forget sales tax! Even if prices were rounded up to the nearest dollar, here in MA that would mean 6.25 cents per taxable dollar. So if you don’t have a debit card or pennies on hand, you’re going to get some as change.

While I’m sure many of our lawmakers would leap at the chance to drop the penny, any taxpayer with a brain would fight it. We know that “rounding to the nearest 5 cents” really means “rounding UP to the nearest 5 cents” and that adds up quicker than a jarful of pennies!

ETA 4/19: Edited to correct a common spelling error that the spellcheck didn’t catch (who for how).