Ithaca Hour

Ithaca Hour

Current One HOUR note developed in 1994

Ithaca HOURS is a legal currency system generally specific to Ithaca, New York. This system was started in 1991 by Paul Glover, based on similar currency plans in the Great Depression as an alternative to Federal currency during the 1991 recession.


Glover began printing these HOURS and, with the help of local merchants and laborers agreeing to accept these HOURS as payment for goods,  Ithaca HOURS took off. By 1996, Ithaca HOURS had an advisory and governing board and became a company by 1999 to ensure regulation. Today millions of Ithaca HOURS have been in circulation and are accepted by Ithaca residents and businesses.


To comply with U.S. tax code, Ithaca HOURS are taxable when used or exchanged for professional goods or services. The premise of this system is to introduce an additional incentive to favor local businesses and workers and help Ithaca’s economy. The Ithaca HOUR’s value is pegged to ten dollars, to represent one hour of work. Despite this, the Ithaca HOUR is not secured by the U.S. government, nor can it be exchanged to U.S. dollars. The Ithaca HOUR is backed only by its acceptance within the local community.

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