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  • Louisiana Tax Tokens

    Louisiana Tax Tokens were used to collect sales tax of fractions of a cent.

    • One Mill is 1/10th of a cent.
    • Five Mills is 1/2 cent.

    The first tax tokens issued by the state of Louisiana were in conjunction with the Luxury Tax Act of 1936.

    This was a tax of 2% on selected items. Public Welfare Revenue Act of 1938 replaced this Luxury Tax.

    It was termed "Luxury Tax" because of the numerous exemptions. Although the law specifically exempted about seventy-five items from the tax, the state released an expanded list of exemptions.

    This list included such items as alcoholic beverages, bottle openers, cigars, lawn mowers, maple syrup, and plum pudding. Merchants and consumers claimed it was confusing because it taxed articles as necessities while exempting some classed as luxuries.

    Louisiana Luxury Tax Tokens
    Louisiana Luxury Tax Tokens
    1 Mill and 5 Mills

    The tokens were released on October 1, 1936 and within ten days more than four million tokens were in circulation in the New Orleans area alone. No records are available concerning the total number of Luxury Tax tokens struck. The Luxury Tax Act of 1936 was repealed by the Public Welfare Revenue Act of 1938. All Luxury Tax tokens were to be withdrawn with a deadline for redemption of December 31, 1938.

    Public Welfare Tax Tokens
    Public Welfare Tax Tokens
    1 Mill and 5 Mills

    While the Public Welfare Revenue Act reduced the tax rate to 1% and contained fewer exemptions than its predecessor, it was no more popular. One of the campaign issues in the 1939 Governor's race was abolition of the Public Welfare tax. As a result, Governor Sam Jones approved repeal of the act on July 9, 1940, effective December 31, 1940.

    Eight million five mill and forty-nine million one mill tokens were issued for this tax. Final redemption of the tokens took place March 31, 1941, and fewer than seven million tokens were returned. So where are the other millions? Today even a new Louisiana Tax Token is not worth more than a few cents. Even if you could find a buyer.

    Sales Tax Tokens were issued by many states in the 1930s and 1940s. Collecting Sales Tax Tokens is a nice inexpensive way to start collecting. Several books are written on the subject. Sales Tax Tokens by Emil Di Bella, 12 pages, softcover, a few illustrations. United States Sales Tax Tokens & Stamps, by M. K. Malehorn hardback, a couple hundred pages, illustrated. For the official site of the American Tax Token Society (ATTS) Click Here!

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