Minnesota Law Targeting Coin Dealers Is Amended

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recently signed the Minnesota SF 3175: Bullion Product Dealers Regulation Authorization, culminating major legislative effort led by the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) to reform the most troublesome law for coin dealers in modern memory.

Minnesota State Quarter (United States Mint image).The new law amends the state’s “Bullion Coin Dealer Law,” passed in 2013, which applies to dealers at all levels of the industry and throughout the country, and imposes onerous regulations that were impossible to comply with. ICTA’s Chairman, Harry Miller, explains.

“Most coin dealers in the U.S. probably had no idea they were subject to this Minnesota law. But many were affected, even those who thought they had never done business in the state, because of the broad way in which the law was written,” Mr. Miller said.

Miller said ICTA spent more than $160,000 to hire legal and lobbying representation, met with elected officials, sent hundreds of letters and emails, held many meetings with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and worked with key legislators Rep. Joe Hoppe (R-Chaska) and Sen. Dave Tomassoni (D-Chisholm).

The result was an amended law that addresses the more troubling aspects of the BCDL, revising the law to:

  • REVISE the definition of a Minnesota consumer to a practical, common-sense standard that dealers can apply in real time
  • EXCLUDE transactions with Minnesota consumers that occur at coin shows or other locations outside the state, unless the product is shipped to a Minnesota address
  • INCREASE the threshold for registration from $5,000 a year to $25,000 and limit the transactions that count against the threshold to transactions with Minnesota consumers, thus reducing the number of small dealers who are subject to the law’s requirements must
  • ELIMINATE a requirement for dealers to calculate a rolling 12-month total of transactions when calculating the threshold amount
  • RAISE to 12 the number of shows each year a dealer may attend and still qualify for the coin show exemption
  • ELIMINATE the terms “bullion dealer” and “bullion coin” from the law, reducing the associated stigma
  • EXEMPT wholesale dealers who transact business exclusively with other wholesale dealers in Minnesota and with retailers who, if they are required to register in Minnesota, have done so
  • ELIMINATE the registration requirement that dealers must continue to register for two years after they cease doing business in Minnesota
  • REMOVE many other onerous and impractical regulatory burdens the law imposes

“We’re grateful to everyone who assisted in this effort, especially Rep. Hoppe and Sen. Tomassoni, without whom this reform of the law would not have been possible,” ICTA Vice Chairman Philip Diehl said.

Amending the Minnesota law 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 Minnesota, 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,” ICTA Executive Director Kathy McFadden said.