Grassroots Efforts Help Push Gold And Silver Sales Tax Repeal Over The Line In Wisconsin

Grassroots Efforts Help Push Gold and Silver Sales Tax Repeal Over the Line in Wisconsin Mike Maharrey Money Metals Exchange

By Mike Maharrey, Money Metals Exchange


Wisconsin recently became the 44th state to repeal sales taxes on gold and silver.

The enactment of this law will benefit real people in a tangible way, and it was made possible by the efforts of everyday folks just like you.


Wisconsin’s New Tax Policy on Gold and Silver

Rep. Shae Sortwell sponsored AB29 along with a large coalition of cosponsors. Sen. Duey Stroebel carried the Senate SB33 in the Senate.

The legislation creates a sales and use tax exemption for precious metal bullion. The new law defines “precious metal bullion” as coins, bars, rounds, or sheets that contain at least 35 percent gold, silver, copper, platinum, or palladium. 

Sound Money Defense League executive director Jp Cortez praised the enactment of this legislation.

“As inflation ravages American families, Wisconsin has taken an important step toward remonetizing gold and silver, a proven inflation hedge and the only form of money mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.”

Wisconsin was tied for 45th in the 2024 Sound Money Index. Enactment of this measure is expected to boost the state’s ranking dramatically.


Real Benefits for Real People

Don’t mistake this new law as an insignificant change to mundane tax policy. It will significantly benefit gold and silver investors in the Badger State.

In a message to Money Metals, one customer expresses joy at the news of the bill’s passage.

“When I heard the news that Gov. Evers signed the bill, I literally fell off my chair in the office. Crying happy and jumping around my office screaming with joy! I lost over $20,000 on stupid Wisconsin tax on my precious metals over five years buying gold. … From now on, moving forward, I am going to buy as much gold as I can until I retire.”

Removing taxes on the exchange of gold and silver also takes a step toward treating gold and silver as money instead of commodities. Taxes on precious metal bullion erect barriers to using gold and silver as money by raising transaction costs. As Cortez testified during a committee hearing on a similar, charging taxes on money itself is beyond the pale.

“In effect, states that collect taxes on purchases of precious metals are inherently saying gold and silver are not money at all.”


Grassroots Efforts Get the Job Done

The passage of AB29 was a grassroots victory.

Every day people making phone calls and sending emails to their state representatives and the governor were a big factor in pushing the legislation over the finish line.

For example, Sen. Howard Marklein was the sole vote against the bill in the Joint Committee on Tax Exemptions, but he flipped and voted "yes" in the full Senate. Sources close to the Sound Money Defense league say he flipped due to overwhelming grassroots pressure to support the bill.

Cortez said that when similar bills moved through Alabama and Tennessee in recent years, he heard several anecdotes from legislators saying that the sound money bill they were considering was the most popular bill of the session and that they were drowning in calls and emails.

During the debate on a gold and silver tax bill in Arkansas, Cortez said a committee chairman called him angry about all the contact he was receiving. Instead of backing down, the Sound Money Defense League upped the pressure and the chair eventually brought the bill up for a vote.

Most people feel powerless in the political process. And when it comes to making changes at the national level, that feeling might be warranted unless you are a well-heeled lobbyist.

But you can make a difference at the state level. State representatives and senators serve much smaller constituencies than your representatives in Washington D.C. And they are not used to getting high volumes of feedback on specific legislation.

A former state representative in Kentucky once told me he often went through entire legislative sessions without hearing from a single constituent on a specific bill. 

Given the general level of political apathy at the state level, you can imagine the impact even a handful of phone calls on a specific bill can make. They are not used to seeing that kind of contact most of the time, and when they do see it, it gets their attention.

The lesson?

When you hear about legislation to support sound money in your state, take a few minutes and make that phone call. Send that email. It truly can make a difference!

It's also important to be persistent. Sometimes it takes multiple phone calls. You should take action any time you get an alert - even if you have already called once. Political action generally isn't a one-and-done game.

You can never assume your representatives are going to do the right thing. It's up to you to hold their feet to the fire and drive the change you want. 

As Samuel Adams said, "It is the duty of everyone to use his utmost exertions in promoting the cause of liberty.”

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