As you probably know, ICTA is the national trade association that is the “watch dog” for the coin/precious metals community, most especially on the federal level. We’re a comparatively very small association and can only do so much with our small staff. When being proactive with in-state dealers to try to achieve a state sales tax exemption on coins and precious metals, they usually hire a lobbyist and then work with ICTA for the education part. We then all work together to first educate the lobbyist who then may find an appropriate legislator to sponsor the bill before going to the next step of educationg the rest of the legislators. This slightly an oversimplification, but you get the idea.
One of our biggest frustrations has been our inability to monitor laws being considered on the state level that may impose a burden on coin collectors and dealers. Sometimes a state’s sales tax exemption may be reviewed for possible repeal; other times it maybe a very restrictive “secondhand dealer holding law.” These secondhand dealer laws impose restrictions when you would be selling your coins or scrap metals to a dealer. These state laws sometimes require the dealers hold the merchandise for as much as 30 days, very difficult to do profitably when the precious metals markets change daily. But they also contain provisions requiring the dealer to take a lot of information from the client, sometimes including a fingerprint, in order for the client to sell the coins and metals. While these laws are intended to help prevent fencing of stolen merchandise, they can be drafted to be very burdensome and unworkable in everyday life.
ICTA has located a service that provides monitoring of bills in all state legislatures which will enable us to hopefully discover any laws that might affect coin dealers, collectors and investors before they become law and while we still may have a good chance of either defeating them or at least favorably modifying them. But this service is far from free and thanks are due to Mike Fuljenz of Texas who is sponsoring our first year’s subscription to this service.
Diane Piret – ICTA Industry Affairs Director