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View Full Version : A question about the pricing of beer.



Spiny Norman
07-03-2007, 05:21 PM
In most bars a beer or a pint of beer comes to a nice, even number, like four fifty or five twenty five or something. I've always assumed that this has been adjusted for sales tax.

So, my question is, if a beer costs 5.25 and the sales tax for the alcohol in the area is 6.25, then the actual price of a beer would be 4.94, right?

I'm not asking anyone to check my math, I'm just checking to see that that's how bars actually work.

Kentuk
07-03-2007, 08:03 PM
For a bar you want to backward figure. Start with the price of say five dollars, and figure out how much the state gets, what is left is the menu price. I believe in many areas retail food and drink isn't subject to sales tax.

Haggis
07-03-2007, 08:14 PM
For a bar you want to backward figure. Start with the price of say five dollars, and figure out how much the state gets, what is left is the menu price. I believe in many areas retail food and drink isn't subject to sales tax.

It does differ from state to state. In Michigan, liquor/beer isn't taxed until you order food. From that point on all future drinks are also taxed.

Makes no sense, I know.

TrainofThought
07-03-2007, 09:56 PM
From my days of bartending, the register was pre-programmed for 2.50, 3.75, so the only tax that showed was when food was ordered. If a customer sat down and ordered a pint, it was 2.75 without sales tax. As Haggis stated, it differs from state to state.

Spiny Norman
07-04-2007, 12:17 AM
Hmmm.... I wasn't aware that was how things worked.

Interesting.

III
07-04-2007, 12:19 AM
A buddy of mine owns a bar and he said in Texas if you only sell beer, you pay one tax rate, but if you sell alcohol and beer, both are taxed at a higher rate. Not sure if that actually helps...

Spiny Norman
07-04-2007, 12:22 AM
Yeah, with Texas it has the TABC, which messes it all up.

If it's a flat rate then that's something. It's not necessary, but one of the characters plays a math game with the pricing of beer, so I would prefer it be legit.

The Grift
07-04-2007, 12:55 AM
I've been in bars where if I order something with cash, they might say "four bucks," but if I pay for the same drink with a credit card the receipt comes back as 3.64 or whatever so that with tax it's about 4 bucks. But it sounds like it's very region and establishment-specific. I would recommend contact the sort of watering hole in your story in the place your story takes place in. Or better yet, go there and have nine or ten pints.

http://www.3dgameman.com/forums/images/smilies/beer.gif

JoniBGoode
07-04-2007, 01:22 AM
I've managed restaurants and bars in IL, TX and WI, and yes, the tax is included in the "per drink" price. So, if a mixed drink sells for $4.25, that may actually be $3.67 plus tax.

While several states charge no tax on retail food sold in grocery stores, virtually all charge tax on restaurant food. Every state charges a tax on liquor, and normally a higher tax for on-premise consumption in a bar or restaurant. Liquor and restaurant meals are considered luxuries, so they're often more heavily taxed than other items.

Here's a link that shows the tax rate for beer in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. http://www.taxadmin.org/FTA/rate/beer.html

Here's one for liquor: http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/liquor.html

HTH

Spiny Norman
07-05-2007, 03:54 PM
Wow, thanks! That's really useful!