Maryland lawmakers voted this year to raise the sales tax on alcohol by three cents on the dollar.
But when the increase kicks in Friday, bar patrons could see prices going up by twice as much.
Chalk it up to pub economics: Bar owners, who typically include the sales tax as part of a beverage's advertised price, don't like dealing in pennies, nickels or dimes. Prices, particularly at the local joints, are set in 25-cent increments.
"If you are tending bar, and it is a Saturday night, you can't make change," explained Andrew Burke, the owner of John Steven Ltd., a bar in Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood. "The guy at the bar isn't going to count out...