Numismatic Community Pulled Together to Defeat HB 206
A bill before the Maryland House of Delegates that would have ended the sales tax exemption for coins has been defeated.
House Bill 206—Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Precious Metal Bullion and Coins—failed to make it out of the Revenue Subcommittee of the Ways & Means Committee with the end of the legislative session looming, on April 11.
The death of HB 206 marks a decided victory for the numismatic community. Whitman Expo General Manager David Crenshaw, who helped lead a coalition against the bill, says there is plenty of credit to go around.
“This was a classic case of the numismatic community coming together quickly and effectively to get the job done. Whitman committed the necessary resources to engage a top-flight lobbying firm, The Rasmussen Group, and we certainly brought a lot of people together, but it took all of us to ensure the defeat of this wrong-headed measure,” Crenshaw said.
Coin dealers and other numismatists were joined in their opposition to the bill by Visit Baltimore (the city’s convention and tourism arm), which saw the measure as a money-loser given that Whitman alone hosts three major coin shows in the city each year.
“Working together, we organized letter writing and email campaigns targeted at the committee members in order to help them understand that the repeal of this exemption would result in less tax revenue for Maryland—not more,” Crenshaw said.
Crenshaw said Delegate Melvin Stukes (D-Baltimore City) was instrumental in ensuring the bill never gained traction.
“Delegate Stukes understood from the beginning that repealing this particular tax exemption would hurt the economy of Baltimore and, thereby, the State of Maryland. He helped his House colleagues understand the many policy considerations that weighed overwhelmingly against passage of the measure.
“He was also an effective advocate in the face of a good deal of misinformation surrounding this bill. The numismatic community owes Delegate Stukes a debt of gratitude that is surpassed only by that which he is owed by his constituents and fellow Marylanders,” Crenshaw said.
With state governments throughout the country struggling to make ends meet, there remains the possibility that Maryland and other states may take up a similar measure in the future, Crenshaw said.
“This incident helped us be better prepared for similar measures in the future. It’s clear the numismatic community can and will work together when our vital interests and the interests of tax payers are at risk. We’re grateful to everyone who played a role in this successful effort,” Crenshaw said.
Whitman Expo, LLC is the leading producer of coin and collectibles expos in North America. For the latest news on the hobby and upcoming expos, visit the award-winning WhitmanCoinCollecting.com.
Contact: David Crenshaw
404.235.5322 | [email protected]