Rising Home Prices Help Penny Pinchers

Home prices rose by 1 percent nationwide in June, according to The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller 20-city homeprice index, which is good news for all of us who own homes and who are struggling in this economy. We may actually recoup some of what we spent on our homes.

This news that the economy may be improving is probably especially good news for people like Ron Spears of Washington State, who rolled buckets of pennies into the country treasurer's office to attempt to pay his overdue property taxes last week. According to CBS News:

Spears owns Spears Interiors in Cle Elum and also serves on the city council. He says his business is struggling and he didn't have the money at the time.

It may be the equivalent of $330 but don't try to pay your property taxes with 33,000 pennies.The county treasurer turned him down and made Spears agree to pay in a more "conventional way."

OK, so it seems a bit like a stunt to make his point, but so what? Are pennies no longer currency?


The penny gets a bum rap. It's U.S. currency, which means we ought to be able to use it to pay for things, even if we use it in buckets.

Movies? Beer? Groceries? All can be purchased with pennies.

Since when does a treasurer get to say he doesn't have the time to count the pennies? Isn't that her job?

The poor penny has been so beaten down, it seems. Even gumball machines take quarters now (for shiny neon gumballs that lose their flavor in one minute flat). So why are we still using them?

Walk into a store and if your bill comes to $1.01, most places will take just the dollar. If something costs $0.99, we're expected to say "keep the change." Let's just disband the penny altogether and stop pretending like it's useful currency.

Our efforts would be much better focused on the nickel.

Do you use pennies anymore?


Image via stevendepolo/Flickr


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