Tennessee Coin Dealer, Legislators Honored With Service Awards

Longtime member Col. Steven Ellsworth, (ret.) was honored by the National Coin and Bullion Association (NCBA) on January 4 during the organization’s membership dinner in Orlando, Florida, with the 2022 Diane Piret Memorial Outstanding Service Award for his efforts to see through the passage of Tennessee’s Senate Bill 1857 and its companion House Bill 1874. The bills provide a sale-tax exemption on coins, currency, and bullion sold in the state.

“Over the past seven years, Representative Bud Hulsey and Senator Frank Niceley have shown unrelenting perseverance in an effort to get this measure passed,” said NCBA executive director David Crenshaw. “The dedication of Representative Hulsey and Senator Niceley in sponsoring and championing their bills through multiple Assembly sessions has never wavered, and dealers Col. Ellsworth, David Hall, and Bruce Paulhamus gave their efforts a much-needed shot in the arm in 2019 when they formed the Tennessee Precious Metals, Coin & Currency Coalition and hired Bass, Berry & Sims to lobby for us. Ellsworth’s determination, especially, rallied the state’s dealers and collectors to help push this exemption through.”

Representative Hulsey and Senator Niceley will be presented their respective awards later this month by Ellsworth in a special ceremony at their Tennessee General Assembly offices in Nashville.

“It has been a long road to get Tennessee a coin, currency, and bullion sales-tax exemption. The way the dealers and collectors of our state have stepped up to contact their legislators has made a huge difference,” said Col. Ellsworth. “We are so glad the way opened to get our exemption passed last year. We are thankful for the efforts of Representative Hulsey and Senator Niceley, our legal team at Bass, Berry & Sims, and the National Coin & Bullion Association’s executive director, David Crenshaw, and board member Pat Heller in reaching our goal.”

Tennessee is the 41st state that has complete or partial sales-tax exemptions on the retail sales of coins, currency, and precious metals bullion. Of those states, five (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon) have no state sales tax at all, while the other 35 states have enacted legislation and adopted regulations to exempt such merchandise. That leaves only nine states and the District of Columbia, which still charge sales taxes on retail sales of coins, currency, and precious metals bullion.

The award commemorates the 25-year career of NCBA’s former industry affairs director Diane Piret, who died in 2015.

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