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New ICTA committee a loser

The Industry Council for Tangible Assets has formed a committee to recommend candidates for U.S. Mint director to the Obama administration.

My first reaction was huh?

ICTA is a numismatic lobbying organization formed to defend collectors and businessmen from unfair taxes such as state sales taxes on coin and bullion transactions and to win collectors who own coins tax treatment that is identical to the long-term capital gains tax treatment that they get on other investments when the time comes to sell.

ICTA educates dealers about how to comply with all cash transaction reporting requirements to prevent them being entrapped in money laundering.

These are good and necessary undertakings.

ICTA has existed on a shoestring budget since its founding in the early 1980s. Nevertheless, it has won some notable victories in state capitals. There have been some defeats as well, but it is all part of the job.

I believe the organization generally serves a useful purpose in areas most hobbyists view as necessary.

Formation of this committee crosses the line.

Now ICTA is engaging in politics. The Mint director’s job goes to a supporter of the President. When a new President arrives, so does a new Mint director.

The Mint has nothing to do with state sales taxes. It has nothing to do with federal tax policy. It has nothing to do with cash reporting enforcement.

In short, it has nothing to do with ICTA’s historic purpose.

This committee is a loser. It will irritate potential donors who might not agree with its recommendations. ICTA needs all the donors it can get.

With such limited means, ICTA needs to stick to its mission. Picking a Mint director is not part of it.