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Coin tax exemption sought

A tax exemption on the sale of coins made with precious metals is being sought in Wisconsin for the fourth time in 25 years.

The Wisconsin Coin Collecting Alliance led by retired Krause Publications chief executive officer Clifford Mishler was invited to send representatives to testify Feb. 9 at a hearing before the Wisconsin State Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee at the Capitol in Madison, Wis.

Mishler was joined by Mike Schiller of Allouez Rare Coin Gallery of Allouez and Gary Rosencrans, who runs Gary’s Coins and Stamps in Wisconsin Rapids.

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Rosencrans cited the loss of business to more tax-friendly states and the subsequent loss of income tax that he might have paid to Wisconsin as a result.

“I have kept a log of referral(s) I made in the last 15 months. My former customers purchased $1.1 million from one Chicago dealer and $157,000 from an Iowa dealer. For these referrals, I received commissions totaling $1,325. Had I been able to sell the products directly in a competitive market, my profit would have been $52,000 for which I would have gladly paid Wisconsin income tax,” Rosencrans said.

He noted that he was not the only dealer in Wisconsin who has had to do this because buyers prefer to make their purchases in states without applicable sales taxes.

Mishler said that adopting a sales tax exemption would indicate Wisconsin is open for business and such action would put it on par with 30 states that already either have exemptions or no sales tax at all.

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State Rep. Kevin Petersen supported the proposed measure in his remarks: “AB 387 is a small investment considering the millions of dollars the state is losing in tourism revenues from coin shows.”

Mishler said a hearing in the State Senate was likely to occur followed by votes at the committee level.

“The decision point will be in the next 60 days or so,” he explained.

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