Bunuel wrote:

A house cost Ms. Jones C dollars in 1965. Three years later she sold the house for 25% more than she paid for it. She has to pay a tax of 50% of the gain. (The gain is the selling price minus the cost.) How much tax must Ms. Jones pay?

(A) C/24

(B) C/8

(C) C/4

(D) C/2

(E) 0.6C

Choosing values is quick here.

Ms. Jones paid C = $100 for the house

She sold it for 25 percent more than she paid for it. She sold it for:

$100 * 1.25 = $125

She pays 50 % tax on the gain.

The gain: $125 - 100 = $25 gain

The tax on the gain:

$25 * .50 = $12.50

With C = 100, find the choice that yields answer 12.50

Eliminate C, D, and E immediately:

(C) C/4

(D) C/2

(E) 0.6C

They're too large ($25, $50, and $60 respectively)

Answers A and B remain:

(A) C/24

100/24 is a lot less than 12.50. 100/25 = 4, so 100 divided by 24 will not be much greater than 4. Eliminate Answer A.

(B) C/8

100/8 = 12.50

That is a match

Answer B

_________________

In the depths of winter, I finally learned

that within me there lay an invincible summer.

-- Albert Camus, "Return to Tipasa"