Price Guide

FOR THOSE OF YOU who found your way to this website while investigating a strange old token that you found in your grandfather’s junk drawer, we hope you’ll take this as a “Sign from the Heavens” that you should become a tax token collector! After looking into the value of your token, below, I hope you’ll take some time to explore and enjoy our website and realize your destiny as future president or treasurer of the American Tax Token Society!

WHAT FOLLOWS IS a very brief description of the values of tax tokens, to help you determine if the token you’ve found is a rare find or simply a run-of-the-mill token (pun intended!).

THERE ARE A TOTAL of 12 states which issued sales tax tokens that were used in a state-wide manner: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Washington. These are going to be the most common tokens that you’ll encounter. There were also locally issued tax tokens from several other states, and these are considerably less common.

PLEASE BE MINDFUL while researching your token below, that the majority of tax tokens are going to be worth less than a dollar, as many were manufactured in the tens of millions. The lion’s share of these was later disposed of, with only a small percentage still being in existence today. However, even a small percentage of ten million is still quite a large number. That being said, there are some tokens which are quite rare and often elude collectors.

ALABAMA is a bit of a mixed bag. There are a variety of hard fiber tokens, a red plastic token, two aluminum tokens, two brass varieties and a zinc token. The plastic, aluminum and brass tokens are all very common and worth less than a dollar each. The zinc token is slightly more difficult to find, especially in nice condition, as zinc is more likely to corrode over time, and this token could likely be worth a few dollars to the right collector. There are more than a dozen varieties of fiber tokens as well, and the majority of them are quite common and worth less than a dollar. Three varieties stand out as being desirable. A red fiber and dark blue fiber token can bring a few dollars each, with the blue being more sought after. There is also a very pale blue fiber token, which collectors find the most difficult to locate for this state and could bring a few dollars more than the others mentioned.

ARIZONA has copper, aluminum, zinc and brass tokens. These are all very common with all tokens being worth less than a dollar each.

COLORADO has aluminum, red fiber and red plastic tokens. These are all very common with all tokens being worth less than a dollar each. There are many minor varieties of several of these issues.  Although they do not increase the value by much it is fun to attempt to find one of each of these minor varieties.

ILLINOIS is slightly more complicated. The State of Illinois issued a small square aluminum token as well as a small round token. These were the only ones issued by the state and they are very common and worth less than a dollar each; although one variety of the round token is slightly more difficult to find and may be worth a few dollars in higher grade. In addition to the state issued tax tokens, many counties and towns in Illinois had their own metal or paper (scrip) tokens. Some of the more common metal tokens can be found from: Arcola, Carbondale, Chandlerville, Charleston, Effingham, Jackson County, Jacksonville, Litchfield, Mercer County, Moline, New Boston, Paris, Pike County, Roanoke, Rock Island, St. Anne, Tazewell County, Toulon, Union County and Whiteside County. Metal tokens from these counties and towns are the most common and only worth a couple of dollars each. If you have a token from an Illinois county not listed here, it’s likely that it has a higher value. Feel free to contact us with details, and someone will help determine a potential value for you. If you have Illinois tax tokens printed on paper stock (called scrip), even for the counties listed above, then you have a much better item, highly sought after and which could bring in a high dollar amount, even as much as several hundred dollars or more, for the right piece.

KANSAS has one zinc and two aluminum tokens, all of which are extremely common and worth less than a dollar each.

LOUISIANA has two different varieties each of aluminum and brass tokens. These are extremely common and worth less than a dollar each.

MISSISSIPPI has a mix of aluminum, brass, fiber and plastic tokens, with a few that often elude collectors. The aluminum and brass are very common and worth less than a dollar each. The fiber token with a number 1 on each side of the hole is very common and worth less than a dollar, while the fiber token with a number 5 on each side of the hole is fairly difficult to find and could be as much as $50 to the right collector, depending on the condition. There are 3 basic ranges of colors for the Mississippi plastic tokens: cream colored, white and ultramarine, with a few slight variations. The cream colored ones are the most common and worth less than a dollar each. The ultramarine ones are slightly less common and are worth a couple of dollars each. There are 2 varieties of white plastic tokens and both have some value. One has been described as having a lightly “pink translucent” glow when held to a light source. The other is a flat white and completely opaque (which means no light passes through it when it is held to a light source). Of the two, the opaque token is more desirable and both varieties could be worth as much as $50 to the right collector, depending on condition.

MISSOURI produced a mix of cardboard, zinc, and plastic tokens. The first cardboard sales tax tokens issued by Missouri resembled “milk bottle caps” with the state seal and the denomination on the obverse (the front) and nothing on the reverse (the back).  The blank backs of these first tokens proved a real problem as many political parties, merchants, and anti-sales tax opponents used those blank backs to counter-stamp slogans or for use as “free” advertisement by simply hand stamping or writing on that blank back.  These blank back tokens are still very common today WITHOUT anything stamped on the reverse and can easily be found for a dollar or less.  Those that do have a counter-stamp on the back are all scarce, rare, or unique, and can have a range in values all the way from a few dollars to over one-hundred dollars for unique pieces.
    Additionally, there are those “Milk Cap” cardboard tokens found in white, rather than tan that are worth much more, two types that have the “water mark” or pressure stamp on the back showing the original patent date for the actual milk cap stamping system, and a couple of types of pattern issues as well.  These can be worth from thirty up to several hundred dollars each, but those at the high end of that scale are extremely uncommon or rare and it is extremely unlikely that any of those high-value “Milk Caps” will be found by the average collector (although it does happen!).
    To eliminate this problem of counter-stamping on the reverse Missouri quickly changed to a slightly smaller size and added there own printing on the backs.  These are all very common and are worth less than one dollar each.
    Next Missouri issued zinc metal tokens in both one and five mills.  There are a few minor varieties of each, but none of them, even in high grade, are worth more than one-dollar.
    Missouri finished it’s sales tax token run with plastic tokens.  The one-mill was supposed to be red and the five-mill was supposed to be green.  But because of the millions of each that were produced over decades there is a large range of actual colors in both denominations.  Generally, the red plastic one-mill will range from orange all the way to burgundy coloration, while the five-mill is most commonly found in green or gray.
    The red plastic one-mill tokens of Missouri are the most common of all the sales tax token issued by any state.  Although it is possible to find a tougher color in both denominations, the “normal” colors are so very common that they are worth no more than a few cents each.

NEW MEXICO has aluminum, copper, fiber and plastic tokens. The metal tokens are mostly common and worth less than a dollar each, with the exception of one error token that can sell for up to ten-dollars. One of the copper 5 mill tokens contains that error on the reverse and reads “five cents” instead of “twenty five cents” and these are much more difficult to find.
    There are white and black plastic tokens for New Mexico, with a gray-white and lightly “pink translucent” token being the most common and the black token slightly less common. Still, these are both worth less than a dollar. The second white plastic token, which is also opaque (light does not pass through it), is much more difficult to find and might be worth as much as $30 to the right collector. 
    There are also 2 fiber tokens. One is black and one is white. Both may have a value as high as $50 to the right collector in top grade.  Please note that since the black fiber token looks exactly like the black plastic token but is worth far more, it is important to look closely at the five-mill black pieces you may find as those few made of fiber are very especially nice to find.

OKLAHOMA has a mix of aluminum, brass and fiber. All of the metal tokens, with one exception, are very common and worth less than a dollar each. The one-mill aluminum token that reads “CHECK” on one side and “PENSIONS” on the other side is much more difficult to find and may have a value as high as $25-$60 depending on condition.
    Oklahoma issued a variety of press board tokens, and most of them are very common and worth less than a dollar each. There are a couple of exceptions, though. The only press board token which says “SALES TAX” on BOTH sides of the token is hard to find and can be worth several dollars. Two tokens have the phrase “FOR OLD AGE” on one side and the words “CONSUMER’S TAX” on the other. 
    The fiber tokens are found in two colors. The opaque, light gray version is worth a few dollars, while the off-white version with a pinkish translucence is worth about twice that.
    Please note that Oklahoma produced more error tokens than all of the other states combined.  It is much more common to find some form of error token from this state than from any other tax token producing state.

UTAH has a mix of aluminum and plastic sales tax tokens.  Although the aluminum tokens do have a few minor varieties, none of them are uncommon, and all of them are worth less than one-dollar each.  Utah was the only state to produce three different denominations for their plastic token issues.  One-Mill plastic issues were some type of green, Two-Mill plastic tokens were some type of gray, while the Five-Mill plastic tokens were most commonly found in a true orange.  However, a number of tougher colors are known for all three denominations.  The vast majority of Utah plastic tokens are worth less than one-dollar, with a few that might be worth a bit more.

WASHINGTON state issues are slightly more complicated and had a mix of aluminum, plastic and fiber tokens, as well as paper scrip. The aluminum and fiber tokens are all very common and worth less than a dollar each. The plastic tokens are mostly green but can be found in a wide range of color variations. Most of the plastic tokens are very common and worth less than a dollar each; however, some of the extreme color variations, such as those which are so dark they’re almost black or so light they are almost white are desirable to collectors and can be worth several dollars, or more, each. Washington also has 2 small pieces of scrip that almost look like tiny dollar bills. One is yellowish and one is bluish. Both are fairly common but worth a couple of bucks each.
    Washington also has a lot of locally issued scrip, printed on paper and splice wood (from Tenino) and these are all very collectable. Depending on the piece, they can be worth anywhere between $15 up to several hundred dollars to the right collector. If you have some Washington scrip, feel free to contact us with details, and someone will help determine a potential value for you.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND that the prices we have mentioned above are extremely general and will answer questions concerning value for the vast majority of items that the average collector might encounter.  However, there are at least as many, if not more, rare pieces that cannot be so easily defined.  Most states produced a number of patterns prior to the issue of the actual circulation tokens and even the most common of those is worth $50, while rare, unique or unlisted pattern types may be worth many hundreds of dollars.
    Additionally there were many states that had merchants produce some form of tax token, tax scrip, sales tax meal card, or scratch ticket that are always worth at least $20 and can be worth well over $100.  States like North Carolina, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania are but three of the states that are known to have such scrip issues.
    Plus, most sales tax token collectors also look for and collect anti-sales tax tokens or pin-back buttons, from states such as Texas, Oregon, and Kentucky. All of those items are worth more than the “common state issues” described above.
    In short, we know that most folks are going to ask about the most common items, those produced by the twelve states listed above.  But that small range of tokens is just a beginning glimpse into the real variety of tokens, scrip, and related memorabilia encompassed within this field.
    If you are looking for an answer as to the value of your item, and you CANNOT spot an easy answer above - THAT IS GOOD.  It means you probably have one of the better pieces, or groups, or lots, or collections.
    We are here to help and in the process we learn too.  Please ask any question you may have and we will do our very best to give you a reliable answer.

31 thoughts on “Price Guide

  1. Monte

    Astoria is the one of the top three most difficult Illinois provisional metal issues and is always a very tough token to find, especially if it grades in an honest EF (Extra Fine) or better condition.

    You can certainly count yourself as lucky to be in a small group of those collectors who have discovered one of these pieces. Congratulations.

  2. Bob

    I recently brought a Astoria, Illinois Tax Token. First one I have come across. Is this a better tax token? I have found many Illinois Towns Tax Tokens over the years. Thank You, Bob

  3. Monte

    It is extremely common with millions having survived. It is worth less than a dollar, even if it were in perfect condition.

  4. Breanna

    I’ve got a coin, not sure on the material but it is very lightweight. One side says

    tax commission
    state of washington

    And the other side says….

    Sales of 5¢ to 14¢ 1token
    CH. 76
    LAWS 1941
    Sales of 15¢ to 25¢ 2tokens

    Could you tell me if it is rare?

  5. Monte

    Thank you for the notice. Most (but not all) of the Illinois provisional metal issues have already been downgraded in rarity scale from previous estimates, but I do appreciate your additional comment on this issue. 25 of them is a LOT for that town.

  6. Doug Soebbing

    I stopped at an antique mall recently and found a dealer offering 25 Witt (Illinois) Merchant Association 1/4c sales tax tokens at $5 each. I bought 4. L104 shows a rarity of R-6, which you might want to correct.

  7. Monte Dean

    Yes, I’m afraid that token is very common. Still, it is an awesome way to discover one. I hope you keep it and maybe even consider building a collection. It is a very inexpensive way to get historically significant tokens, many produced by the 13 states that issued them, for great prices.

  8. Scott Marshall

    I was cleaning a space in a wall, in our home that was built in 1935, and found a CH. 180, Laws 1935 Washington state tax token (10 cents). It’s aluminum and has a hole in the middle. I can’t seem to really find the price guide for it. But the price guide did help me with estimated value would be under a dollar.

  9. DannyB

    recently my friend’s grandmother passed away and she left him her house and everything in it. well him being 18 he didn’t want any of the old stuff so when he cleaned the house out to sell it he just gave away the usable stuff and trashed the rest. so one day I stop by his house while he is cleaning out the last room I noticed amoug the remains of the trash and leaves and what have you strung around the room, there was quite a few old looking coins on the carpet ( the house was very run down and dilapidated) and he was just sweeping it out the front door, coins included. So after offering to buy the ones he was going to sweep into the front yard he tells me he found alot more so i snagged them up to. The collection is mainly old foreign coins but there’s quite a few sales tax tokens and even a passenger train token. Theres others but the have dirt and corrosions on them so i cant make out what quite a few say. In my next post ill provide a list of the ones i can identify. Also, can someone please tell me how to restore the corroded and tarnished coins without damaging them? I only have this problem on certain metal coins/tokens

  10. Chris Davies

    Just found 5 tax tokens from Washington State. I remember playing with tax tokens when I was a kid. Three are the aluminum, one green and one is almost black. None are magnetic. It was interesting to read how they were used for partial pennies back in the days.

  11. Jeff Ailey

    Just dug a mix of 20 tax check and old age assistance tokens , and one token from a general merchant store in fairview Oklahoma . Nobody has heard of the store . I know their not worth much , but they are amazing finds to me .

  12. Monte

    The Milk Cap counterstamp you mention is one of thousands of different types that were produced by merchants for advertising, religious or political statements, or just plain silliness during a very brief period in 1935. Only a few hundred different types of so far been reported, but yours is one more that we can add to that list. As to a value, if it is in decent condition with a firm solid stamp on the reverse, I myself would be happy to offer $60. In any event, that will give you a starting point in knowing that your Missouri counter stamp actually is of some value.

  13. Dave Patterson

    In my grandfather’s coin collection, I discovered a Missouri milk top tax token counter stamped “JESUS SAVES JOHN 3-16”. I wondered if anyone knows anything about this counterstamp.

  14. admin Post author

    You should consider joining the ATTS for only $12 a year. You’ll meet other collectors that you can trade with and the quarterly newsletters has lots articles on the hobby!

  15. Jay

    I found an old chew pouch full of these tax coins and old age assistance coins from all over the place. Didn’t even know the things were ever produced! Interesting stuff, I am thinking of trying to trade some of the doubles (I have a lot of doubles) and see what other ones I can get this should be a lot of fun to do! I got mine from an old friend I had when I was a kid. My mother saved them for 50 years and she just gave them to me again - how cool to find a new free hobby, I needed something new to discover, even if it was old!

  16. Deryck McLeod

    I found a state of washington 1/5 cent tax token scrip. It is paper about 1×2 inches yellow and says “tax on purchase 10 cents or less.” Im sure its not worth much but it is interesting. Would someone be interested in them?

  17. admin Post author

    All of that information is on this page, which you posted your question to. You just need to read what’s written under each of the different states. The OPA token is not a sales tax token.

  18. Susan

    I have the following:
    Oklahoma Consumer Tax 1 with CHECK- both side are the same.
    Oklahoma Consumer Tax 1 with for old age assistance on reverse side.
    Alabama State Dept. Of Revenue 1 with sales tax token on reverse side.
    Kansas sales tax token 1 with same on reverse side.
    OPA Blue Point 1 with same on reverse.
    Are any of these of value? The Kansas and Alabama ones are not metal.
    Thank you for any assistance-

  19. Monte

    As previously mentioned, this is simply someone’s “stash”, probably in the back of a wallet, with a Washington State Sales Tax Scrip placed on top of a $2 bill. Since the Scrip was issued some two decades before the bill, it further negates the possibility for the Reverse Scrip print to be anything other than the two items being in contact long enough for the ink to transfer off the scrip to the bill. An interesting item, but not one most STTS (Sales Tax Tokens and Scrip) collectors would consider adding to their collection, unless you wanted to sell it for $2 - which is about as much as it’s worth. Very circulated $2 bills are only slightly more valuable than their face value, and the Scrip transfer would not add to that value.

    Thanks for sharing the photo. If the transfer had been from a merchant or town issued scrip that was an unreported new find it would have probably been worth $40-$60, or possibly more depending on the town location. Even having the transfer only of an R-10 (Rarity 10 - Unique) would make it valuable as a confirmation that such a scrip had existed. So again, thanks for the report. In the world of STTS collecting, we have learned that we will probably never know everything and we search for the knowledge as much as for the items themselves.

    Having reports like this help us learn, even if the item provided isn’t necessarily valuable, and we do thank you for your time in sending the photo to Loran. Monte.

  20. Mike Chandler

    re: Anne & the Two Dollar Note

    First, the note’s design was approved in 1953. It doesn’t signify the date of printing of the note. Subsequent minor changes to the note will have a suffix letter.

    Anyway, the stamp imprint on the note is in reverse. It is from the Scrip from Washington State.

    It appears that either a freshly printed scrip was placed upon the $2 note OR that a scrip got wet and was place upon the $2 note and the transfer of ink occurred.

  21. admin Post author


    I suspect that Virginia is long gone and that we’ll never know.

    Glad to have you participating!

  22. Mike Chandler

    re: Virginia, 5-July-2013
    re: With the 65 and 67

    By any chance, would the exact opposite side of the token display the 65 and the 67?
    Is it aluminum, plastic or ?
    Diameter of token?
    What is shown on the token — normally?

  23. admin Post author

    I’m not sure that it’s possible for you to upload a file to our site, and it didn’t seem to happen. You can post a link, if you’d like, or you can email it to me if that’s easier.

  24. Anne

    Thanks to you both; Admin and Monte, for getting back to me. =) I’ve got a scan uploaded for you here. You’ll notice the general state of disrepair into to which the bill’s declined (and the black stamped area in question as well). I’ll have another scan if you like; perhaps a little “Photoshop magic” will help. Thanks again!

  25. Monte

    Neither merchant issued or state issued sales tax scrip or stamps were still in use by 1953, the date of the bill. Is this something that is pasted onto the bill, or a rubber stamp on the bill in ink, or perhaps any other description of the actual stamp on the bill would be most helpful. It is possible that the bill was kept in contact with a state issued scrip and simply bled ink onto the bill, or it is remotely possible that someone still had an old merchant scrip rubber stamp that they used on the bill nearly 2 decades after their normal use. Any further description, or even better - a photo -, of the item would help us determine the rarity and value for you in short order. Without a more exact description, or a picture, the item you have might be something simple, or something quite rare and unique. More information is needed for us to help you.

  26. admin Post author

    Is there any way that you could scan it or take a photo. I’m having difficulty visualizing what it is. It doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever seen or heard of.

  27. Anne

    I have a circulated, series 1953 2 dollar bill, with a red seal and serial number A40269600 A. It has a square , black stamp, front and just left of center, a little more than sideways, somewhat faded and in reverse. I can make out that it is a state of Washington tax token scrip stamp. Can you provide any knowledge as to the rarity, historical significance and/or the value of this interesting find? Thanks :)

  28. Monte

    If you are unable to provide a picture, please just list all the lettering (words) found on both sides of the token, and we can probably help you out. If you are referring to a 2 as the denominatin (as in two mills for a sales tax token), the most likely state that would be from would be Colorado, although Utah also used that denomination. Even if you can only guess at the composition of the material (aluminum, brass, fiber, plastic) that would help to. We are more than happy to help answer your question if we know just a little more about what you have.

  29. admin Post author


    Off the top of my head, this doesn’t ring a bell, but with any luck, one of the other ATTS members may chime in with some information about what it is.

    Can you provide us with any additional information, such as what it’s made of, the size or shape of it or any additional writing? Even a photo would be helpful. You say that you “think” it’s from Washington. Does it say “Washington” on it?

  30. Virginia Widman

    I have a tax 2 coin that has 65 above and 67 below the tax 2 lettering. I think it’s from Washington state. I would like to know about it. Any information would be great.

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