- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - A House committee passed a bill Wednesday that would make Arizona the third state behind Utah and Oklahoma to recognize gold, silver and platinum as legal tender.

Proponents say the bill reflects a growing distrust of government-backed money. Opponents countered that it sends the wrong message that gold and silver are safer than currency.

Republican Rep. Mark Finchem said he sponsored the bill to further protect the state’s buying power and consumers’ rights to use precious metals as an alternative to paper money. Businesses in Arizona can already accept precious metals as legal tender.

Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed similar legislation in 2013 over concerns that its language might exempt the state from collecting income taxes on transactions involving precious metals.

The latest bill includes an amendment that seeks to eliminate federal capital gains taxes on precious metals that accumulate value over time and then get used in transactions. Federal approval would be needed to eliminate the tax.

Texas and Louisiana have similar laws that exempt precious metals from taxation.

In Arizona, the Federalism and States’ Rights committee passed House Bill 2173 on a 5-3 vote on Wednesday.

Democratic Rep. Rebecca Rios voted against the bill, saying she doesn’t understand its purpose because it doesn’t force businesses to participate, and the amendment won’t stop the federal government from collecting capital gains taxes.



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