Matthew Weekes

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Eliminate the 1 cent and make taxes included in the price

Through out my youth, every summer (from 6 years old to 15 years old, I am now 17), I spent in Switzerland. I noticed there that the lowed denomination of money was the five centime. I also noticed that something that is semi-common in the NYC where I live, does not happen over there: People do not argue over whether the tax was calculated correctly or if the bill was added up correctly. This does not happen there because the tax is included in the price. I found that with both these ideas in place in the Swiss monetary system, transactions without credit cards moved much more smoothly.

My preposition is essentially to do something quite similar here in the US. I was wondering would it be a good idea to the American psyche if we did the same thing with the tax included in the price and a less drastic version of the half franc coin.

Preposition 1: Eliminate the penny so that all prices end in 0 or 5. It would make shopping a bit more easy and eliminate extra jingling in the pocket. I would prefer to just do what the swiss do and make the lowest denomination of money the five cent. My main concern is just that people might complain that prices will go up. My preemptive response to this argument is that if the original price had an ending number below 5, the price would round down, and the opposite for 5 cent in up.

Preposition 2: Based on those changes above, make the taxes part of the price.

Sound good? Sound bad? Add on to it? All responses welcome.
Anyone can answer but I am hoping that Americans will answer because I am really proposing this for our system (to emulate the Swiss system).

  • Apr 28 2011: Australia does exactly what you are proposing.

    1. All prices include taxes - ie/ when you buy an item marked $20 that's exactly what you pay.
    2. Here our smallest coin is a 5 cent piece.

    3. We have prices marked in 1 cent increments however these are rounded to the nearest $0.05 whe paying by cash.

    ie/ an item that costs $1.91,$1.92 rounds down to $1.90.
    an item that costs $1.93,$1.94 rounds up to $1.95

    $1.96,$1.97 rounds down to $1.95 and
    $1.98 and $1.99 rounds up to $2.00

    If you pay by EFT or Credit card you pay the exact amount.
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    Apr 23 2011: I'm definitely with you on proposition 2, for sure. It was the same way in the UK last time I was there. If the sign says something costs £1, the customer pays £1.