Texas and Louisiana have expanded their sales tax exemptions for rare coins and some precious metals including gold and silver by eliminating the $1,000 threshold.
This means that all future sales of these products will be sales tax/use tax exempt, according to a June 25 news release from the Industry Council for Tangible Assets. Previously, sales tax was imposed when sales reached more than $1,000.
ICTA board member Mike Fuljenz of Universal Coin & Bullion Ltd., in Beaumont, Texas, and other ICTA member dealers in Texas worked with lobbyist Jake Posey to make the case to the Texas state legislature.
“ICTA’s support and the information supplied were critical to our success,” Fuljenz noted. “The rare coin/precious metals community is a chain formed of many links — dealers, investors and our national organizations, especially ICTA. To achieve this type of success, each link must be strong.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the legislation into law June 14 and the tax exemption expansion will take effect Oct. 1, 2013.
Fuljenz also gave credit to members of the Texas legislature, especially State Rep. David Simpson, for understanding how the sales tax exemption benefits Texas citizens and businesses of all sizes.
In Louisiana, the effort took a slightly different track, since coin dealer Paul Hollis, of Paul Hollis Rare Coins, in Mandeville, La., is a first-term member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Hollis, with the support of other Louisiana dealers, was able to spearhead and guide the Louisiana bill through both houses.
“This expansion just makes sense for Louisiana’s investors and dealers,” Hollis said. “The efforts of Mike Fuljenz and other Texas dealers and the timing for passage of the Texas exemption expansion really helped make our case.”
Hollis also applauded the efforts of ICTA’s Industry Affairs Director Diane Piret whom he described as “an invaluable resource to me and to our lobbyists, Randy & Ryan Haynie.”
Hollis said due to ICTA’s help, the original sales tax exemption on rare coins and precious metals in 1991 was achieved. He said he hopes ICTA representatives will be able to attend the recent bill’s signing ceremony scheduled for later this summer in Baton Rouge.
Points used effectively in both Texas and Louisiana to achieve passage of the expansion of the state sales tax exemption are:
➤ Rare coin and precious metals products must be available to consumers as an investment option on a playing field level with other investments that are not subject to sales tax;
➤ The exemption keeps business within the state and attracts coin shows, auctions and other events to the state;
➤ With more advertising and business kept in the state, consumers can establish relationships with local merchants, which offers a level of protection not found with out-of-state internet, TV or telephone purchases;
➤ It helps smaller savers and investors.
Both Fuljenz and Hollis emphasize that all dealers and investors must monitor their state legislatures for any threats to existing sales tax exemptions on rare coins, currency and precious metals.
“The federal government may grant to the states the power to collect sales taxes across state lines on all remote sales — Internet, phone, TV, etc.,” Fuljenz explains. “The governors are clamoring for this power as they wrestle with state budget deficits. The United States Senate has already passed the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, and the U.S. House has it under consideration as bill H.R. 684, the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013..”
Currently, 30 states have some form of exemption for coin and precious metals products or have no sales tax at all, according to ICTA..
“All state exemptions may provide some form of protection should the interstate taxation legislation be passed by the U.S. Congress,” Hollis said.
For more information and to learn how to support ICTA’s efforts to oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, contact Eloise Ullman, Executive Director, by telephone at 410-626-7005, or email her
Dealers are also encouraged to contact Diane Piret, Industry Affairs Director, by telephone at 504-392-0023 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mailing address for ICTA is ICTA, Box 1365, Severna Park, MD 21146-8365.
At www.ictaonline.org, the ICTA website, a membership application is available for dealers interested in joining the organization.
ICTA was formed in 1983, and membership is open to all who have an interest in rare coins, currency, precious metals and other collectibles. ■