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The margarine tax.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

One stamp collecting specialty is tax stamps -- not used to carry the mail, but to show
that a tax has been paid. You may remember them on cigarettes and playing cards, but Ron
Lesher says there were even revenue stamps for food.

"Most people are surprised that oleomargarine in this country was taxed as far back as
1886." RUNS :06

At first, the taxes were used to combat fraud óback to when butter and margarine were
stored in containers called firkins.

"If the butter firkin was empty, an unscrupulous retailer might refill it with
oleomargarine, the cheaper-priced spread, and sell it as butter."  RUNS :11

But then the dairy industry saw another advantage to the tax on colored oleo-margarine.

"They convinced Congress that it should be taxed at the rate of 10 cents per pound,
bringing it nearly up to the price of butter, the genuine product." RUNS :07

Lesher says collecting revenue stamps isn't that far afield from collecting POSTAGE
stamps.

"Other revenues could be a fee for a service, and postage stamps pay a fee for a
service, a government service."  RUNS :07

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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