Ohio Governor Kasich Signs Sales-Tax Exemption Legislation

On June 14, 2016, Ohio governor John Kasich signed into law SB 172, which provides for a sales-tax exemption on rare coins and precious-metals bullion. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2017. Ohio becomes the 34th state to have a complete or partial sales-tax exemption on the retail sales of rare coins, paper money, and precious-metals bullion.

Ohio State Quarter (United States Mint image).The Ohio Precious Metals Association (OPMA), led by executive director Jeff Longstreth, has been engaged in efforts to obtain a sales-tax exemption for rare coins and precious-metals bullion since its founding in 2013.

“Charlie Kepnes started the original effort nine years ago,” said Ohio coin-business owner David Miholer (Executive Coin Company). “I recall back then that Kepnes, Dick Frost, and I were pretty much laughed out of Columbus.”

Representative Ron Maag introduced 2013 HB 26: Sales & Use Tax-Exempt Investment Metal Bullion & Coins on February 5, 2013. Ultimately, the Conference Committee added the measure to the biennial budget bill, which passed the House and the Senate.

Governor Kasich exercised his line-item veto power on June 30, 2013, removing the provision exempting investment-metal coins and bullion from Ohio sales tax. “There is no reason to provide preferential treatment to one class of items and not others that could possibly increase in value, such as art, sports cards, or antiques. Therefore, this veto is in the public interest,” stated the governor’s veto message.

On February 3, 2015, HB 26 was introduced again by Rep. Ron Maag and Rep. Christina Hagan.

The Industry Council for Tangible Assets also joined the OPMA initiative.

The bill received a public hearing from the House Ways and Means Committee on April 14, 2015. Ohio coin-business owners David Miholer (Executive Coin Company) and Brad Karoleff (Coins +), Jeff Longstreth, ICTA treasurer Patrick Heller, and ICTA executive director Kathy McFadden testified at this hearing.

Sen. Kris Jordan introduced SB 172: Sales Tax-Exempt Investment Bullion and Coins on May 27, 2015. This bill worked its way through both houses, becoming successfully enrolled on June 8, 2016.

“The Ohio dealer and collector communities owe the Ohio Precious Metals Association a debt of gratitude for their perseverance and generosity,” said Brad Karoleff.

“Ohio now joins the 33 other states with a sales-tax exemption. I wish to thank everyone that helped make this exemption a reality. The ICTA partnership was invaluable to the successful conclusion of our efforts,” said Longstreth.

Obtaining the Ohio exemption was part of an ambitious agenda of legislative initiatives across the country to maintain or establish sales-tax exemptions that are crucial to preserving the viability of our industry and hobby. ICTA’s efforts are designed to demonstrate that states are better off financially when they allow sales-tax exemptions.

“We’re taking a moment to celebrate the victory in Ohio, but that’s only one front in the fight to promote a robust coin industry. We have a lot of work to do throughout the country, and we need dealers to join with us in that fight,” said ICTA executive director Kathy McFadden.