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Alabama Repeals Sales Tax on Gold and Silver Bullion; Bills Moving Forward in Wyoming and Kansas

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Three more states are moving toward repealing taxes on the sale of gold and silver bullion.

Last week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill into law exempting the sale of gold and silver bullion from state sales and use tax. The repeal of the tax not only lowers the cost of investing in gold and silver, it will also open the door to using precious metals in everyday transactions,  and it takes the first step toward breaking the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.

Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence) sponsored Senate Bill 156. The new law exempts the gross proceeds from the sale of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion in the form of bars, ingots or coins from sales and use tax in the state for five years after the date of enactment.

The House passed SB156 by a 100-0 vote. The Senate approved the measure by a 26-0 vote. With the governor’s signature, the new law will go into effect June 1.

A similar bill passed in Wyoming last week and is waiting for action by the governor. Titled the Wyoming Legal Tender Act, House Bill 103 defines gold and silver specie as “legal tender,” meaning it would be recognized as a medium of exchange for the payment of debts and taxes in the state. It would prohibit the state or local governments from levying any property, sales of capital gains taxes on gold or silver specie. Practically speaking, gold and silver specie would be treated as money, putting it on par with Federal Reserve notes in Wyoming.

Ron Paul produced a video asking Wyoming residents to contact Gov. Matt Mead and urge him to sign a bill. He noted that things move agonizingly slow in Washington D.C. Passing bills like this at the state level are an important step toward real monetary reform.

“It’s just to me sad that we are so far removed from the Constitution. But a little bit here and a little bit there, there is going to be a revolution in monetary policy.”

Paul emphasized that monetary reform is an important step toward reducing the power of the federal government.

“Believe me, the size and scope and interference of government would change a whole lot if we could rein in the monetary system, rein in the Federal Reserve and rein in this spending.”

A bill that would exempt gold and silver bullion, along with other precious metals and some coins, from state sales and compensating use tax is also working its way through the Kansas legislature. The House Taxation Committee passed HB2421 on March 8.

We Shouldn’t Tax Money

Imagine if you asked a grocery clerk to break a $5 bill and he charged you a 35 cent tax. Silly, right? After all, you were only exchanging one form of money for another. But that’s essentially what Alabama’s sales tax on gold and silver bullion did. By removing the sales tax on the exchange of gold and silver, Alabama will treat specie as money instead of a commodity. This represents a small step toward reestablishing gold and silver as legal tender and breaking down the Fed’s monopoly on money.

We ought not to tax money – and that’s a good idea. It makes no sense to tax money,” Ron Paul said during testimony in support an Arizona bill that repealed capital gains taxes on gold and silver in that state. “Paper is not money, it’s fraud,” he continued.

Practically speaking, eliminating taxes on the sale of gold and silver will crack open the door for people to begin using specie in regular business transactions. This will mark an important small step toward currency competition. If sound money gains a foothold in the marketplace against Federal Reserve notes, the people will be able to choose the time-tested stability of gold and silver over the central bank’s rapidly-depreciating paper currency.

There are already signs of the tax repeals impact. According to Coin Week, the state can now host major coin shows.

“We have discussed the possibility of hosting a show in Alabama, however, we have been reluctant because of the sales-tax obstacle,” President of Whitman Publishing president Mary Burton said. “The new law allows us to once again give serious consideration to hosting a successful show in Alabama.”

Background Information

The United States Constitution states in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” States have simply ignored this constitutional provision for years. It’s impossible for a state to return to a constitutional sound money system when it taxes gold and silver as a commodity.

This Alabama tax repeal, and bills moving through the process in Wyoming and Kansas, take a small step toward that constitutional requirement, ignored for decades in every state. Such a tactic would set the stage to undermine the monopoly of the Federal Reserve by introducing competition into the monetary system.

Constitutional tender expert Professor William Greene said when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve Notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.

“Over time, as residents of the state use both Federal Reserve notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve notes do will lead to a “reverse Gresham’s Law” effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the state’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the state – as people in other states carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve notes for any transactions.”

Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people. Nullifying the Fed on a state by state level is what will get us there.

The enactment of the Alabama bill and passage of the Wyoming Legal Tender Act are part of a broader movement as states continue to pass measures that chip away at the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money by facilitating and encouraging the use of gold and silver.

This article was based on reporting by the Tenth Amendment Center

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