This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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It was to be the numismatic hobby versus the deficit cutters at a hearing Feb. 23 at the Maryland State Assembly’s House Ways and Means Committee.
The topic was legislation, H.B. 206, which if passed, would revoke the state sales tax exemption that applies to sales of coins and bullion in amounts over $1,000.
Led by the Industry Council for Tangible Assets and appeals by the Professional Numismatists Guild to its members, the numismatic industry was trying to explain to legislators that the issue involves more than a 6 percent levy on numismatic transactions, but a far larger picture of the potential loss that would occur to Maryland if the nation’s dealers and collectors stopped coming to the state to do business if the exemption is lifted.
Three of the largest coin shows are held annually in Baltimore sponsored by Whitman. In addition to the rental of the convention center, dealers take hotel rooms that generate room taxes, they eat in restaurants and take taxis – all activities that employ people and generate other tax revenues.
The sales tax exemption is also a matter of leveling the playing field between stocks and bonds, which are not subject to the state sales tax, and coins and bullion.