BRIAN PERRY/Amazon collects ‘use tax’

When you pay 7 percent more on your Amazon purchases, put some of the blame on Governor Theodore G. Bilbo.

At Bilbo’s urging, the Mississippi legislature passed what some consider the nation’s first general sales tax in 1930. Bilbo encouraged the tax; vetoed revenue bills without the tax; and then refused to sign the tax, allowing it to become law without his approval.

Newspapers across the state denounced the policy. Prognosticators predicted the red tape would cause a tax revolt against every legislator who voted for it. The massive tax increase – which was on a sliding scale based on products – averaged about one-quarter of one percent.

Neshoba Democrat