Sales Tax, anyone?

Evidently, back in the 1930’s in the state of Ohio, the answer to that question was   “No Thanks!”  In 1935 Ohio enacted a state sales tax of 3% .  Most of the money was earmarked to support schools.  As you might expect, it was greeted with a lack of enthusiasm from most Ohioans.

Retail merchants were not excited about it.  After all, the Great Depression had sent our country reeling economically. Adding tax to their goods seemed like an additional insult to their struggling customers.  Some just decided to ignore it.  How would the state find out if they charged the tax or not?  The customers weren’t going to tell.

The State of Ohio had to somehow get this tax going…. it needed the revenue.  (Sound familiar?)   They decided to issue stamps and sales tax stamps were created.  Merchants were required to purchase them and attach them to receipts or at least hand them to the customer each time a tax was charged.


What seemed like a good idea at the time, turned into a nuisance for both the merchant and the customer.  Neither wanted to deal with the stamps.  So the state of Ohio encouraged everyone to “save” the sales tax stamps.  They could be collected and donated to charities or schools.   If you saved a bundle of sales tax stamps and turned them back in to the state, they would give you back 3% of the face value of the stamps.

I remember collecting the stamps.  Mom had a little jar in the kitchen and we would toss them in the jar and then donate them to the schools or churches.

The stamps were discontinued in the early 1960’s.  Sales tax kept going up, too.  But that’s another story.


About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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8 Responses to Sales Tax, anyone?

  1. Ruth, I don’t remember this! I hated the S&H green stamps because Mom designated me as the official stamp licker, and she always had a lot of them. I had to cut the Betty Crocker points off of boxes, too.


  2. don’t remember them…but, interesting fact…


  3. Caddo Veil says:

    I see that another reader has already mentioned the green stamps–I was only a kid, but THAT was exciting to me!!


  4. I’ve never heard of this. Somehow it doesn’t seem as fun as collecting Green Stamps and shopping in the catalog! Remember those? LOL!


  5. marymtf says:

    If a politician isn’t taxing us or privatising utilities,then he / she isn’t doing his / her job properly. I remember one of our state premiers closng down and selling a publicly funded hospital.


  6. Wow, that’s a convoluted system! Funny how something we now take for granted was once such an innovation.


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