In the bud, it wasn’t nipped

Stan Geiger catches a detail on The Andy Griffith Show:

Goober had lost his job at the filling station and taken a job as a cashier in a Main Street store. A customer made a purchase which the Goob rang up. Back then there were no bar codes or fancy scanners; a cashier looked at a price tag and pushed buttons. The purchase rang up at $8.98. Then the Goob added the tax. The tax came to 13 cents.

Using the above information, I calculate the Mayberry sales tax rate in the day was 1.5 percent.

At the time — no earlier than 1965, since this particular episode was in color — Oklahoma, says Geiger, was already charging 2 percent. You don’t want to know what the rate is today. (And if you do, it’s somewhere around here.)

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