Friday, May 20, 2011

The Fate of the Penny

The mint produces coins based on demand.

Retailers demand a large number of pennies because sales tax tables force them to calculate all sales to a penny.

As such, the fate of the penny is in the hands of the state and not the hands of the mint.

As the centennial of the Federal Reserve approaches, state lawmakers could make a statement about the devaluation of the dollar by creating a tax table that rounds to the nearest quarter.

Businesses, eager to reduce transaction costs, would adopt the new tax table because they would only need quarters in their change drawers.

Businesses would return unused change to the mint for redistribution. So, even if only a few states developed tax tables rounding to the quarter, we would see an end to the production of dimes, nickels and pennies.

Calculating to the quarter would benefit consumers as consumers would no longer need to deal with piles of pennies building up in jars and falling under the driver seat.

Utah loves to make symbolic political statements. So, I am writing letters to Utah representatives to consider adopting an alternative tax table that rounds transactions to the quarter.

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