Texas and Louisiana Expand Sales Tax Exemptions

Texas and Louisiana have eliminated the $1,000 threshold for rare coins and precious metals.

[Severna Park, MD] — Under the leadership of ICTA (Industry Council for Tangible Assets) Board members Mike Fuljenz (Universal Coin & Bullion, Ltd., Beaumont) in Texas and Paul Hollis (Paul Hollis Rare Coins, Mandeville) in Louisiana these state legislatures recently EXPANDED their sales tax exemptions for rare coins and popular precious metals by eliminating the $1,000 threshold. This means that ALL future sales of these products will be sales/use tax exempt.

In Texas, Fuljenz and other ICTA member Texas dealers worked with lobbyist Jake Posey to make the case to the Texas state legislature. “ICTA’s support and the information supplied were critical to our success,” Fuljenz noted. “The rare coin/precious metals community is a chain formed of many links – dealers, investors and our national organizations, especially ICTA. To achieve this type of success, each link must be strong. If you are a coin dealer and have not joined ICTA, now is the time. ICTA is the only organization that represents the rare coin/precious metal industry with federal and state legislators.”

The expansion of the Texas sales tax exemption takes effect October 1, 2013, and became law with Governor Rick Perry’s signature on June 14, 2013. Fuljenz also gave credit to members of the Texas legislature, especially State Representative David Simpson, for their understanding of how this expansion of the sales tax exemption benefits Texas businesses and citizens of all sizes.

In Louisiana, the effort took a slightly different track, since coin dealer Paul Hollis is a first-term Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and with the support of other Louisiana dealers was able to spearhead and guide the Louisiana bill through both houses. “This expansion just makes sense for Louisiana’s investors and dealers,” Hollis states, and this was one of the points used for the expansion of the sales tax exemption. “The efforts of Mike Fuljenz and other Texas dealers and the timing for passage of the Texas exemption expansion really helped make our case. ICTA’s Industry Affairs Director Diane Piret was an invaluable resource to me and to our lobbyists, Randy & Ryan Haynie. Thanks to ICTA’s help, we achieved the original sales tax exemption on rare coins and precious metals in 1991, and I am hopeful that ICTA representatives will be able to attend the bill’s signing ceremony scheduled for later this summer in Baton Rouge.”

Some of the strongest points used in both TX and LA to achieve passage of the expansion of the state sales tax exemption are that 1) rare coin/precious metals products must be available to consumers as an investment option on a playing field level with other investments that are not subject to sales tax; 2) the exemption keeps business in-state and attracts coin shows, auctions and other events to the state; 3) by keeping more advertising and business in-state, consumers can establish relationships with local merchants which offers a level of protection not found with out-of-state internet, TV or telephone purchases; and 4) it helps smaller savers and investors.

Both Fuljenz and Hollis emphasize that all dealers and investors must monitor their state legislatures for any threats to existing sales tax exemptions on rare coins, currency and/or precious metals. “The federal government may grant to the states the power to collect sales taxes across state lines on ALL remote sales – internet, phone, TV, etc.,” Fuljenz explains. “The governors are clambering for this power as they wrestle with state budget deficits. The United States Senate has already passed the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, and the US House has it under consideration as bill HR 684.”

Currently, 30 states have some form of exemption for coin and precious metals products or have no sales tax at all. “All state exemptions may provide some form of protection should the interstate taxation legislation be passed by the US Congress,” noted Hollis.

For more information and to learn how you can support ICTA and industry efforts to oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, contact Eloise Ullman, Executive Director at 410-626-7005; eloise.ullman@ictaonline.org or Diane Piret, Industry Affairs Director at 504-392-0023; dapiret@aol.com. Or visit ICTA’s website www.ictaonline.org for a membership application. ICTA was formed in 1983, and membership is open to all who have an interest in rare coins, currency, precious metals and other collectibles.

The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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