Kent's Lesson in Bar Math

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One of the great pleasures of life -- seen here -- is not something Kent wants to mess with.
Four cents for a beer? That's the tax city leaders in Kent want to levy on each beer or cocktail served or sold in the city, an attempt to recoup the money police spend on patrolling college parties. After all, what's four cents when you're so hammered you're willing to buy a $5 Long Island for a girl who'd probably rather have sex with a mound of fire ants? Yet it's a bit more complicated than that? The way the tax is calculated into the price of your drinks is up to the discretion of the bar owner, says Kent Law Director James Silver. It's unlikely that the bar owner would just jack his prices up four cents, forcing his customers to break another dollar and his bartenders to sift through change. If that happened, people would probably just leave the bartender the remaining change as the tip, as opposed to tipping with a fresh dollar. You may be paying a cop's overtime with that four cents, but you'd also be robbing your bartender out of his or her hard-earned pennies. And when you're choosing between the cute girl and the guy you have to watch for on the way home, it's not exactly a close race. In all likelihood, the bar owner would solve the problem by simply charging an even quarter, or possibly 50 cents, more per drink. And that would, as they say in Kent, suck. Here's a tip for Kent leaders: Cheap beer is the reason your town only mildly blows. Don't screw that up. — Jared Klaus

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