Today, the Utah Senate passed HB317, a bill which will legalize gold and silver as tender within the state of Utah and exempt the exchange (purchase) of such specie from sales and capital gains taxes. Having already passed the House, the bill will now be sent to Governor Herbert to be signed into law, should he so decide.
This type of bill is one that is becoming increasingly popular throughout the country, with multiple states introducing and considering such legislation. Though Utah is now the first state to have a legislature approve of the idea, the sustained momentum of getting other states to review the proposal demonstrates the resiliency of the campaign for sound money. With the U.S. Dollar plummeting in value, this is an issue that will become more popular as time goes on.
As the author of the bill noted in a Fox News article on the subject, this bill will allow Utahns to better prepare for financial turmoil ahead, more easily diversifying into currency with a long history of stability.
This bill, however, is a watered down version of the original submission by the author, Larry Hilton. As we reported previously, the goals of this effort are far more comprehensive and specific. The limited provisions included in this final bill, while certainly welcome, are merely a first step. Expect to see successive legislation in upcoming sessions to expand and broaden the scope of what the legislature passed today.
Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution states emphatically that “no state shall make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” Plainly put, this is the goal: to restore the Constitution’s mandate of gold and silver as the only currency accepted in payment of debts by the states. A recent op-ed at tenthamendmentcenter.com notes what the realization of this goal would achieve:
Over time, as residents of the State use both Federal Reserve Notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve Notes do will lead to a “reverse Gresham’s Law” effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve Notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the State’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the State (as citizens residing in other States carry out their desire to bank with sound money), and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve Notes for any transactions.
With this vote, Utah has demonstrated leadership among the states on the issue of sound money in taking one step towards the constitutional mandate that has for decades been ignored. Please contact Governor Gary Herbert’s office at 801-538-1000 and ask that he sign this important bill into law.
You can download the Constitutional Tender Act template here:
Track Constitutional Tender legislation in the states at this link:
Connor Boyack is president of Libertas Institute. He is the author of Latter-day Liberty: A Gospel Approach to Government and Politics and Latter-day Responsibility: Choosing Liberty Through Personal Accountability.
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