Why Club Charles doesn't round up
The business at that location has been in Martin's family since the 1950s, he wrote.
Here is why Club Charles doesn't have even drink prices, according to Martin:
It was approx 1980, when the Club Charles was still the Wigwam, we tried to streamline operations behind the bar and rounded off the prices on everything so it was all even dollar or buck-and-a-half amounts, tax included ...
But the Department of Revenue for the State of Maryland did not like that one little bit, no sirree ...
There was something in the tax code prohibiting "tax included" prices.
Now you're going to tell me about all the other bars that do it, but I already know about all the other bars that do it. I also know that lawyers and accountants from our side went down to the Department of Revenue and pleaded and pleaded, but all we ended up with was a 5% tax bill plus penalties on all sales that year that had been rung up "tax included."
Why aren't all the other bars forced to split their prices? Why hasn't anyone complained to the authorities about them? Why was the Wigwam singled out for enforcement?
Ah, the mysteries of life in Baltimore. No answers, only confusion.
(Sun photo by Elizabeth Malby)