The SRS and What We Collect
Unlike postage stamps, which prepay the costs to mail something, revenue stamps show that a government tax has been paid. Revenue stamps are sometimes called “tax stamps”, “fiscal stamps”, or simply, “revenues”.
Revenue stamps have been issued for centuries. In fact, revenue stamps predate postage stamps!
A revenue stamp has two essential components:
- Legal Authority
- Every revenue stamp can be traced to a law (e.g., statute, regulation, or ordinance).
- Governmental Purpose
- Revenue stamps must have some governmental purpose, usually fiscal. A revenue stamp could:
State revenues are revenue stamps issued by U.S. states. They are what the State Revenue Society collects and studies.
State revenues have a rich history. They can be traced back to revenue-embossed paper printed by American colonies, and continue to be used today. They are perhaps most commonly seen by non-collectors on cigarette boxes.
The SRS includes in its definition of “state revenue” any revenue stamp issued by a government of the United States that is not the federal government itself. These include the following entities of the United States: