Michigan Government’s Act 51 of 1933, amending Act 26 of 1931, enabled city, township, county governments, and school districts in the state to issue interest-bearing scrip in anticipation of future tax collections. Because they were effectively notes, not currency, they did not violate US counterfeiting laws. There was more than 70 issuers of depression scrip in Michigan. The City of Detroit issued three series of scrip, each in the denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, and $1,000. They were put into circulation by using them to pay city employees and some vendors. The city accepted them at par value in payment of amounts owe to the city, particularly property taxes. At first, they were not well received by the public, quickly trading for a 25% discount to face value. The merchants bought bought them up to use in paying their property taxes. Eventually, the discount dwindled to only 4% of the face value on the scrip.
These pair of consecutive City of Detroit, MI Depression $1 scrip were part of the first issue in April 27, 1933 and show very little evidence of handling.