Sales Tax Tokens
Many states initiated a tax on merchandise sold to raise money. Today, all states with a sales tax use a bracket system to charge tax in even cents, and forgo collecting tax on small purchases. In the 1930s when sales taxes were first instituted, these tokens were issued to facilitate taxing even a one-cent purchase. The denomination of a tax token was often as small as one mill or one-tenth cent. Millions of them were made, and thousands were carried out of state by travelers. They are found in metal, plastic, fiber, and cardboard, and are catalogued from Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington states. The standard reference work on these tokens is "U. S. State-Issued Sales Tax Tokens" by Jerry F. Schimmel.