By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
According to an email alert issued by the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), the Pennsylvania State Senate next week will vote on a bill that would, among other things, eliminate the state’s current sales tax exemption for coins and precious metal products.
The bill, introduced by Policy Committee Chairman David G. Argall (R-29, Schuykill), would put a stop to school property taxes at a local level and replace them with $14 billion worth of state sales and income taxes. A portion of the higher sales tax revenue would come from the repeal of numerous sales tax exemptions previously on the books–including the exemption for coins and bullion that ICTA looks to protect.
The amendment to Pennsylvania tax code comes after five months of political deadlock, whereby the Republican-controlled legislature and Democratic Governor Tim Wolf have been unable to agree on a state budget for the next fiscal year that began July 1, 2015. First-term Gov. Wolf seeks an increase in taxes to fix the state’s long-neglected deficit spending, improve social services in Pennsylvania and address systemic problems in the state pubic education system. Incumbent Republicans have so far opposed any such tax increase.
At the moment, Pennsylvania charges no sales or use tax on coins and precious metals. Medals, tokens and paper currency are, however, subject to taxation. Should the state repeal the exemption, the current bill would also raise Pennsylvania’s sales tax rate from 6% to 7%.
Argall’s bill is set for a vote on either Monday, November 23 or Tuesday, November 24, though according to the most recent session calendar for the state legislature, no vote is scheduled for the 23rd.
ICTA encourages dealers and collectors in the state of Pennsylvania to contact their senator and ask them to vote no on any legislation that would impose a sales tax on precious metals and coins.
You can use this link to find out who your senator is and how to contact them: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/
ICTA has provided an outline below that may be helpful when leaving your message over the phone, though the more you personalize your own message, the more effective it tends to be:
- Tell them who you are:
- Identify yourself and your business, using your physical address
- Report the length of time you’ve done business in Pennsylvania
- Provide your contact information in case the legislator wishes to respond
- Tell them why you are contacting them:
- Ask them to oppose any bill that includes sales tax on precious metals and coins
If you live out-of-state, Pat McBride, Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN), encourages you to call the Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati at (717) 787-7084 and Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman at (717) 787-1377.