Ohio will become the 34th state to have a complete or partial sales-tax exemption on the retail sales of precious metal numismatic and bullion items effective Jan. 1, 2017.
Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 172 on June 14, which provides for a sales tax exemption on investment coins and gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion items. An investment coin is defined in the legislation as any coin composed primarily of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.
The sales tax exemption is the result of a multi-year effort led by the Ohio Precious Metals Association and its executive director, Jeff Longstreth.
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Stow, Ohio, dealer David Miholer of Executive Coin Company said that the current exemption is the result of years of work. “Charlie Kepnes started the original effort nine years ago. ... I recall back then that Kepnes, Dick Frost, and I were pretty much laughed out of Columbus.”
In 2013, similar legislation passed Ohio’s House and Senate, but Gov. Kasich exercised his line-item veto power on June 30, 2013, removing the provision exempting investment-metal coins and bullion from Ohio sales tax. At the time he said, “There is no reason to provide preferential treatment to one class of items and not others that could possibly increase in value, such as art, sports cards, or antiques. Therefore, this veto is in the public interest.”
Kasich spokesman Emmalee Kalmbach stressed that the legislation that Gov. Kasich vetoed in 2013 was different than what he approved in 2016. As she explained to the Toledo Blade newspaper, “The language was different. What he signed was narrower and more limited and very different from what he vetoed in House Bill 59. Also, what he signed today received wide support from the General Assembly.”
The legislative history shows that the definition of bullion was narrowly construed to make sure that jewelry and watches would not be exempted.
Ohio tries again
The legislation was reintroduced in Ohio’s House on Feb. 3, 2015, and the Industry Council for Tangible Assets joined in organizing support for the bill.