Help Save Our Industry Thousands of Dollars
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Section: Association

If you knew you could spend just 10 minutes and save the coin industry tens of thousands of dollars, would you do it?

If the answer is yes, here’s your chance.

The Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) is fighting to maintain a sales tax exemption on coins, paper money, and precious-metals bullion in 33 states… and we are also working to gain such an exemption in the 17 states that do not currently have one.

But we must have your help if we are to succeed.

We are not asking for money (though you are, of course, always welcome to donate).

If we can get just 200 coin dealers to take this survey, and thereby arm us with the data we need to make our case, our prospects for keeping exemptions and gaining new ones will increase dramatically.

Here’s why.

What typically happens in a state considering the revocation of a sales tax exemption for coins (or the creation of one) is this:

    The state’s legislative fiscal office (called different things in different states) begins by estimating the amount of “lost revenue” arising from the sales tax exemption. This estimate is often wildly high. Virginia, for example, estimated it was losing up to a quarter of a billion dollars each year.

    When ICTA and other organizations seek to set the record straight, we are told that in the absence of hard data, the legislature will assume its own estimates are correct. These inflated estimates then become part of the legislative history and are treated as facts.

Take Louisiana, for example. Recently, facing shortfalls from other taxes arising from the decrease in the price of petroleum, Louisiana has frozen all sales tax exemptions across the board.

Each exempt group will now have to demonstrate that the state will be better off financially if it regains its exemption.

And, without hard data to support our claims, it will be an even steeper uphill battle.

That’s where you, and every other coin dealer come in.

If you will take just a few minutes to complete this survey, we will have the data we need. We firmly believe, based on our previous estimates, that the data will support our arguments for a sales tax exemption for coins, paper money, and precious-metals bullion.

In other words, we will be much better able to demonstrate that Louisiana (and practically every other state) will be better off financially if they exempt coins, paper money, and precious-metals bullion that are sold by coin dealers from sales taxes.

We also believe the survey can help us:

    Document that coin dealers can and do sell merchandise other than coins, paper money, and precious-metals bullion.

    Show that coin dealers can easily make sales to retail customers in states other than their own, where they don’t have to charge sales tax.

    Prove that coin dealers are far less likely to take tables at coin shows in states without a sales tax exemption—thereby depriving the state of enormous revenues from other sources, like hotels, restaurants, transportation, and shopping.

    Derive a per-capita in-state retail sales figure for rare coins and bullion in states with exemptions and those who lack one, which we believe can show how sensitive such sales are to the existence of an exemption.

All we need is 200 or more dealers to provide their data.

Won’t you help by being one of the 200?

Above all, please keep in mind that all survey responses are anonymous. Optional contact information will be kept strictly confidential—should you choose to provide any.

And here’s something else you need to know.

We are not fielding this survey as some sort of exercise. It is in direct response to a challenge from the State of Tennessee, where state treasury and fiscal officers have challenged the data we have put before them.

Without this survey, Tennessee (and most other states) will almost certainly fall back on its own estimates—which we know to be inflated.

Using their inflated estimates, it is unlikely that lawmakers will come down on our side of the issue.

In other words, it all comes down to this…If we can get enough dealers to take this survey, we can present lawmakers everywhere with cold, hard facts.

If we cannot, they will continue to rely on “estimates” that will make it much harder for us to succeed.

In Virginia, the Department of Taxation assumed that every dollar of wholesale activity in the state translates into a dollar of retail sales, and that every Virginian buying U.S. Mint bullion is doing so from a Virginia retailer who charges sales tax!

You and I know that such an assumption is absurd.

But states will continue to base public policy on such fictions, in the absence of real data.

Think of it this way. Every year, you dedicate hours, or even days and weeks to activities that help our industry and protect our livelihoods. All we’re asking for is 10 minutes of your time, and the results could be tremendous.

So, please, give us a few minutes of your time.

Remember that the answers can be anonymous, and that even if you provide optional contact information, it will be held in the strictest confidence.

Give us the ammunition we need, and we will lead the fight, all over the country.

Coin dealers, JUST CLICK HERE to get started.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Together, we can do great things for our industry.