The National Coin & Bullion Association (NCBA) dealer-members Dan Hedges (Auro Industries in Little Rock, Arkansas) [Left] and David Miholer (The Executive Coin Company in Stow, Ohio) [Right] have received the association’s 2021 Diane Piret Memorial Outstanding Service Award for their continuous dedication and financial contributions to obtaining a sales-tax exemption on sales of collector coins, bullion coins, bullion, and currency in the state of Arkansas and reinstating Ohio’s exemption for precious-metal and investment coins and bullion, respectively.
In the spring of 2018, Paul Mason (Mason’s Coin and Pawn, Hot Springs) contacted NCBA for assistance with an initiative to establish a sales-tax exemption for coins, currency, and precious-metals bullion. A coalition of Arkansas dealers was formed, headed by Mason and Tom Poole (Northeast Arkansas Coin Company, Jonesboro) with the help of Hedges. They hired a lobbyist and oversaw the creation of a bill, which was sponsored by Senator Mark Johnson (R-15) in 2019. The bill did not get enough favorable votes to pass out of the committee before the general assembly’s sine die adjournment that April.
Despite the setback, Hedges persisted, picking up the gauntlet to lead the effort without a lobbyist when the legislature reconvened in 2021. Senator Johnson introduced SB 336 to create an exemption from the sales and use tax for coins, currency, and bullion. This time the bill successfully moved from the Senate Revenue & Tax Committee through the legislative process in both chambers and was delivered to Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) on April 27, 2021.
“We thank Dan Hedges for his perseverance and the tremendous support of everyone who helped him in this campaign,” said NCBA Executive Director David Crenshaw.
“The NCBA partnership, our team, and many others were invaluable to the success of our efforts,” said Hedges.
In July of 2019, the Ohio Legislature eliminated the sales-tax exemption on the purchases of investment metal bullion and coins from their budget. Though the Ohio dealer community rallied, urging Governor Mike DeWine (R) to line-item veto this language and protect the exemption, no action was taken before he signed the bill into law.
The COVID-19 pandemic shut down many opportunities to change the law during 2020, but Miholer put together a coalition of Ohio coin-business owners to restore the lost exemption. He found sponsors in the legislature and helped push through amendments to include a sales-tax exemption for precious-metals coins and bullion in the state budget for Fiscal Year 2022–2023. Collectible coins made of copper and nickel and paper currency are not exempt, though collectible coins made primarily of gold and silver (such as dimes, quarters, and dollars minted before 1965 and any higher-value gold coins) and any bullion coins made of platinum or palladium qualify.
The Ohio Senate and House passed HB 110 on June 28, 2021, and shortly after midnight July 1, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine signed the bill into law.
“This exemption is vital to the growth of our businesses in the state of Ohio. Thank you to everyone who made our work these past two years a success, especially Rachel Tilves, Brad Karoleff, Andrew Reames, and Pat Heller,” said Miholer.
“Dave Miholer never let up in the push to regain his state’s sales tax exemption. He understood how important the exemption was to his business and every other Ohio dealer, to Ohio residents, and even to the state government,” said Pat Heller, NCBA board member and sales tax exemption expert.
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The Diane Piret Memorial Outstanding Service Award is normally presented at the NCBA membership dinner and update during the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Convention. However, the NCBA event was canceled due to issues with the current COVID-19 omicron variant surge. The award commemorates the 25-year career of NCBA’s former industry affairs director, who died in 2015.