15|2013 A Token (May 2, 2013)

What an interesting day May 2 was!  I received 2 sets of family history items both from my father’s side of the family.  One set included some letters and photos from my grandfather’s uncle’s family the other set was from my father that included letters, photos, memorabilia and more.  It was like Christmas to me.

Among those items that belonged to my grandparents, I did snap a picture I’ll show you today.  On one side it says “5 For Old Age Assistance 5” and the other side says “Sales Tax Token Oklahoma”.  It feels like it’s made of thin but sturdy cardboard type paper.

2013-05-02 tax mil

In looking up information, I discovered two sites that provided helpful information.

1) What are Sales Tax Tokens? said “Merchants had to pay sales tax to the state on the total amount of sales made by the merchant during each day’s sales. You can imagine that if the sales tax rate is 3% and a child buys a 10c piece of candy there is no way to collect the three-tenths of one cent. If you rounded down that meant that the merchant could not collect anything for the tax. If you rounded up the state was gaining 7 tenths of a cent on every 10 cent sale. You can see that if the merchant sold 100 pieces of candy he was loosing 30 cents a day in tax revenues to the state, so the token was born. This allowed the merchant to take 11 cents for the first piece of candy and give change back in mills. The next time you wanted to buy a 10c candy you could present the merchant with the 10c and a token and complete the transaction. This allowed the merchant to collect the sales tax on each transaction.A mill is 1/1000th of a dollar or a tenth of a cent. As you can imagine, people did not like having to carry a second set of coins, and to further complicate matters, different states issued different tax tokens. 1 and 5 mills are the most common denominations, but other denominations include: 1/5 cent, 1 1/2 mills, and “Tax on 10c or less.”
2) 4.29.09 Tax Tokens (Mills) said “…a tax token (mill) was in 1936 when Oklahoma enacted such a law. One mill was made of aluminum and about the size of a quarter with a hole in the center. The first ones were inscribed “Consumers Tax Check Oklahoma” on both sides. A five mill token made of brass was also issued. For every 10¢ purchase, one mill token was also collected. A 20¢ purchase took two mills on up to one penny or 10 mills was required for a dollar purchase. A short time later the inscription on one side of the mill was changed to “For Old Age Assistance” and the word “Check” on the other side was changed to “Token”.
In 1942, the mill was produced from molded white fiber and the 5 mill in grey fiber without a hole. Later, the 5 mill was provided in an orange to red to brown fiber. In 1942, to support the war effort, light grey and red-brown cardboard was used to produce the tokens. The tax was finally ended in 1952.”



About kbea831

I love collecting family stories and photos.

Posted on May 4, 2013, in Family History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I have had this for a very long time but I don’t have a clue how long nor do I remember how I got this one in the first place. In fact I have only very sketchy memory of using them. Probably because I didn’t have money to buy much. When I was going to Hardeeville there was a news/candy store where we could get cinnamon suckers, even soda pop but they were a nickel a piece. I do remember Mom, while visiting the butcher in Packing town ( on Agnew near Exchange in Oklahoma city) pulling out of a coin purse something like this along with the stamps (and money) that she had to have in order to buy meat (this was like an allotment or allowance). Incidentally I remember the stack of stuff, in the corner of the butchers display, no red meat in fact there was nothing else left in the shop. This stuff was mostly white with a little red that he called hamburger meat. This pile was scraps, mostly fat, trimmed from what little meat had been there and purchased. During the War there was very little and food like flower, sugar, coffee, meat it seemed to me every thing you could buy had to be accompanied with a coupon and there was a very limited supply especially meat.


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