By Scott Barman for the Gold & Silver Political Action Committee …..
From the Political Coordinator
In my introduction to the August 2015 newsletter I said that “22 men and women have thrown their proverbial hats in the ring to become President of the United States.” One year later, we are down to two representing the major parties and two from other parties. The next 100 days will be as interesting as the last year.
There is very little news from Washington. Congress adjourned for their summer vacations at the beginning of July and few have returned to Washington. Some have come back for meetings, but few have made public appearances other than those who appeared at their respective conventions.
Before leaving for their conventions, congress passed the United States Semiquincentennial Commission Act (Public Law 114-196). The law authorizes the forming of a commission to organize the national celebrate of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States on July 4, 2026. The law recommends that the commission encourage participation of federal agencies “through such activities as the issuance of coins, medals, certificates of recognition, stamps, and the naming of vessels.”
August is also when the ANA World’s Fair of Money brings us together as a community. It is the highlight of the numismatic calendar taking place in Anaheim, California at the Convention Center.
Internet sales tax on hold for now
With congress out on summer vacation there is no expectation that there will be any discussions about the Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 598) or the Remote Transactions Parity Act (H.R. 2775). One pro-tax group has tried to raise the issue on the local levels without much success.
Minnesota fixes dealer regulation
Under the guise of protecting the consumer after a high-profile incident by an unscrupulous dealer, Minnesota enacted regulations for selling any numismatic item with bullion content as well as bullion issues that have been classified as draconian. The law required dealers to be registered with the state, have background checks, and required the purchase of insurance bonds. The legislation caused small dealers to leave the state, small out of state dealers refused to do business in the state, and threatened to destroy the numismatic industry in Minnesota.
With the help of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), Minnesota dealers lobbied their legislature to reform the law. Signed by Gov. Mark Dayton (D), the Bullion Product Dealers Regulation Authorization amends the Bullion Coin Dealer Law to make some common-sense changes that will make it easier for smaller dealers and coin show transactions to occur without the onerous documentation requirements of the original law. The amended law also exempts collector-to-collector transactions.
Minnesota fixes regulatory woes
In 2013, Minnesota enacted a Bullion Dealer law that set requirements on who could sell and what they could sell to bullion and coin purchasers in their state. According to the law every dealer had a responsibility to be registered and provide a detailed written explanation of their purchase to a Minnesota customer when they buy or sell a coin with any bullion content whether over the phone, mail order, Internet sales, or at a trade show anywhere in or out of the state of Minnesota.
Effective as of July 1, 2016, an update to the new law exempts businesses and collectors that sell less than $25,000 in coins and bullion from the original standards. It also clarifies the registration requirement and eases regulations for the small businesses that sell at coin shows.
Rosie Rios resigns
“Rosie Rios joined the Treasury team nearly eight years ago, during the presidential transition. Since then, she has been a thoughtful steward of two important Treasury bureaus – the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Mint – and has been an advocate for women and girls including, for example, her leadership of the Treasury Women in Finance symposium.
“I am particularly grateful for her creativity and leadership in the effort to redesign our paper currency and to ensure that future notes reflect, for the first time in 120 years, the important role of women in shaping our democracy. I thank her for her service and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
As the 43rd Treasurer, Rios has been an advocate for everything regarding her oversight of the U.S. Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing including her participation at shows. Aside from her signature appearing on every Federal Reserve Note since the 2009 Series, she personally autographed notes for collectors at many coin shows and conventions. She jokingly calls them “Rosie Dollars.”
Rios’s future plans were not announced.
BEP to study new anti-counterfeiting mechanisms
Throughout July, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has issued six Requests for Proposal (RFP) to study new anti-counterfeiting technologies to add to United States currency. The main solicitation (BEP-RFP-16-0443) is searching for a company to perform “research and development of a new overt and device assisted security features suitable for use in protecting the next generation of United States Federal Reserve Notes from counterfeiting threats.” Aside from new anti-counterfeiting mechanisms, the BEP is looking for easier identification of legitimate notes and better assistive features to aid in the sight impaired.
In addition to the anti-counterfeiting research, the BEP is preparing an RFP for research into new ink to print Federal Reserve Notes (BEP-RFP-16-0463), the possibility of mechanochromic materials (BEP-RFP-16-0452), and micro-optic security features (BEP-RFP-16-0440). Mechanochromic materials is the technology that causes ink to change in color or even providing luminescence (a type of glowing) when rubbed. It may be a consideration to aid with note identification for the sight impaired.
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If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at [email protected]. “Letters to the Editor” are appreciated and may appear in a future newsletter.
Scott Barman, Political Coordinator for the Gold & Silver PAC
Barry Stuppler, Chairman Gold & Silver Political Action Committee