What percentage would be considered an acceptable rake compared to the buyin? For instance, there is a local casino that runs a $40 buy in $25 dollar bounty and $15 dollar rake. To me, this seems like an unreasonable rake that would be hard to beat. What do you guys think? What's the norm percentage wise?
For online tournaments, the norm is roughly 10%. Sometimes less for high buy-in events.
For low buyin live tournaments ($100 or less), a rake up to 25% isn't completely outrageous, as the casino has larger costs to cover. As the buyin gets larger, that should shrink substantially (a $200+$35 is pretty common). Events with over a $1k buyin should be back to a 10% max (for instance, WSOP circuit events have a $1500+$100 structure), and very large buyin events typically drop below that ($10k events typically in the range of 5% with-held for entry fees).
In the specific example you give, that sounds high, but it still seems reasonable. There are a lot of costs that have to be covered regardless of the buyin level. I do agree that the rake at these stakes can be hard to beat, doubly so given the fast structure that low buyin live events typically see (as this results in more gambling, which can low your edge).