View Full Version : Tax Stamps - Legacy/History

08-26-2008, 11:18
Does anyone know the legacy of tax stamps?

What I have seen to date (which really means little):

1970/80s and older had stamp tax with Distillation and Bottling dates
1980s tax stamps had (what would look like to me) serial numbers
1990s (early) had "fake" tax stamps - nothing on them.

Post this is nothing.


08-26-2008, 11:24
The short version is that tax stamps came in with the Bottled-in-Bond Act at the end of the 19th century. Dates on tax stamps were only required for bonded products so as the popularity of bonds declined, dated tax stamps began to disappear. Then, early in the Reagan administration, the system of federal regulation of distilled spirits was overhauled. The position of the "government man," who held the keys to every distillery's warehouses, was eliminated as were tax stamps, replaced by a computer auditing system. Since bottles had to have some kind of tamper-evident closure, producers were permitted to use fake tax stamps until they could install a better system, like the tamper evident screw caps most beverage makers now use.

08-26-2008, 11:39
Makes sense.... electronic systems made it easier for everyone...

would it be fair to say that, after the "date" tax stamps went away due to the regulation change, there is veriation of what was used as "fake" tax stamps until they got a better tamper system?

Meaning, that the stamps that have "serial" numbers are also "fake" tax stamps (when on a BIB product)?

08-26-2008, 11:45
I recently bought some late '80s S-W bottles with fake tax strips.

They've got little Georgia tax decals on them, though. I'd sure like to know when Georgia quit doing that. It would help narrow down what year a bottle was made.

08-26-2008, 23:47
Most of the true fake tax stamps aren't trying to be convincing. They're usually a cheaper paper with just some pattern printed on it. There usually aren't any numbers. If it has numbers on it, it's probably real.

As I said, the dates were associated with bonded products. They could be on non-bonded products too, but that wasn't required. The dated stamps didn't really go away separately, but sales of bonds declined so you saw them less and less often until all of the labels went away. Also, when the labels were no longer required neither were the dates, so they would have stopped the dates immediately even if they kept using the stamps. There was a brief period when they were using up their stamp inventory, then anybody who still hadn't converted to the new caps switched to the fake stamps.

Some states used tax stamps to show the state taxes had been paid and they continued using them after the feds stopped. Liquor in that state simply had two stamps on it, with the state stamp applied over the federal one, not covering the whole thing, just where they crossed on the top of the cap.

08-27-2008, 04:01
The Georgia tax stamp was put on the shoulder of the bottle, based on my samples, and appears to be the same sort of decal we used to put on our model cars.

I've written to the Alcohol and Tobacco division of the Georgia Department of Revenue to see if they know. I explained why I wanted to know, but I'm not sure it will make sense to strangers.

08-27-2008, 09:36
I have a little to add "along with" Chuck's response :grin: :grin:

The long strip style stamp across the cap is referred as a "strip stamp", bottling house terms. The square decal style type was called a "state stamp". When I was line help (early 90's) that was part of my job applying/repairing those pesky things :slappin: The state stamp was "supposed" to be on the right shoulder of a bottle...Well, sometimes if you didn't keep the water level just right those stamps were nearly impossible to get off your finger and on the bottle...especially when they were traveling 180 BPM! :slappin: :slappin: Many times we would run down the line catching bottles that were missed...At times we would come up "short" on the state stamps...The line captain would give us hell cause she was held accountable for every stamp!

I recall (early 90"s) another very unusual strip stamp back then...The one's we used on product sent to Russia (so I was told) It had funky type of letters on also...Very pretty strip stamps with a man's face on it, very detailed...I asked for one of those and was promptly given the "NO!"---We have to account for every single one! If you tear one up in the glue machine you had to fish it out and paste the "left over" pieces to show what happened to it...

TE caps came into place at HH in the latter part of 1992. That ceased all strip stamps for A-F and O line :grin: :grin: Everyone was happy except for the strip stamp operator...They lost their title and had to report as line help till another bid came up.

08-27-2008, 18:01
Do some states still have their own stamps? What a pain!

08-28-2008, 12:57
I got my response from the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Georgia switched from stamp to reporting on January 31st, 1993.