On Tuesday, March 6, 2018, Alabama governor Kay Ivey signed into law Senate Bill 156 to exempt the gross proceeds from the sales of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion, and money from sales and use tax for five years. The law is a sales-and-use tax exemption on U.S.A. coins and currency and precious-metals bullion sales.

“The bill’s author, Senator Tim Melson along with its House sponsor, Representative Ron Johnson, championed the bill through the legislature,” said Phil Darby (J & P Coins and Currency, Helena, Alabama). “Alabama coin businesses and collectors owe them a debt of gratitude.”

In the summer of 2016, Darby, and Steve Caiola (Alabama Gold Refinery, Homewood, Alabama) started collaborating with the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) on a campaign to obtain a state coin, currency, and precious-metals bullion sales-tax exemption. Darby and Caiola hired Graham Champion (Public Strategies, Montgomery, Alabama) as the campaign’s lobbyist. Darby, Caiola, Champion, ICTA treasurer Pat Heller, and ICTA chief operating officer David Crenshaw met with the state’s department of revenue deputy commissioner, Michael Gamble, to lay the exemption’s groundwork. In short, our bill (and many others) never came up for debate in the House because other, contentious legislation ruled the 2017 session. Along with hundreds of other bills, our bill died when the session adjourned sine die on May 19, 2017. For the next year’s session, Champion secured Representative Johnson to sponsor our House legislation.

“We promoted the sales-tax exemption as a legitimate jobs and economic-development issue with the legislators,” said lobbyist Champion. “We were pleased with the unanimous support of our legislation in both houses, recognizing the benefits to the state’s revenue, to in-state businesses, and to in-state investors and collectors from eliminating the sales tax. We are also very appreciative that Governor Ivey signed the bill.

“Alabama now joins the 36 other states with a sales-tax exemption,” said Crenshaw. “We thank Phil Darby, Steve Caiola, lobbyist Graham Champion, Representative Johnson, Senator Melson, ICTA Alabama members, and everyone who helped make this exemption a reality.”

The bill was enrolled on Tuesday, February 27, and ratified and presented to Governor Ivey for her signature. The new law’s effective date is June 1, 2018.

“The ICTA partnership, along with lobbyist Graham Champion, was invaluable to the success of our efforts,” said Caiola.

Alabama is now eligible to host a national coin show such as the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo. With three industry leading events in Baltimore, Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo is North America’s leading producer of coin and currency shows.

“We have discussed the possibility of hosting a show in Alabama, however, we have been reluctant because of the sales-tax obstacle,” said Mary Burleson, president Whitman Publishing. “The new law allows us to once again give serious consideration to hosting a successful show in Alabama.”

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