This time of year is typically an exciting one. The days are getting longer as we approach the Spring Equinox. The average temperatures are on the rise as Spring appears on the horizon. The Spring Whitman Show approaches with its Exhibits managed by Bryce Doxzon.

Unfortunately there are storm clouds ahead for anyone associated with numismatics in the State of Maryland. With all of the media attention to the Governor’s proposal to apply sales tax to gasoline purchases, another portion of the tax proposals has escaped mention—the proposed repeal of the sales tax exemption for numismatic transactions in excess of $1,000. Currently purchases of numismatic items, including gold or silver bullion, are exempted if the amount of the transaction is $1,000 or greater. The proposed repeal, if enacted, would have a devastating impact on the hobby and the business of numismatics in Maryland. Dave Crenshaw, manager of the Whitman Shows, has stated publicly that if the provisions, Whitman will be forced to move the three Baltimore shows to Philadelphia. We would lose the three world-class shows that come to the Baltimore Convention Center now, include the considerable financial contributions that are so vital to local club treasuries that Whitman provides in return for the club volunteers performing the Show Registration.

I have spoken to the State Budget Analyst to make sure he understood that the estimates of revenues that are being projected to arise from this proposal must be offset with the following reductions:

  • The number of major (greater than $1,000) numismatic transactions will drop dramatically if the Whitman Shows leave;
  • There will be a substantial hit to local hotels and restaurants as the thrice-annual trek made by coin dealers from across the country would cease;
  • State tax revenues from hotel and restaurant receipts would decline, offsetting any gains in sales tax revenues.

The analyst indicated they would include some language in the Fiscal Note, but he advised that we should contact the legislators and offer testimony.

The current sales tax exemption is section 11-214.1 in the Maryland Tax Article. The repeal proposal is contained in the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2012, known as BRFA. The bill has been assigned to three Legislative Committees. I will be sending letters on behalf of the MSNA to the Chairs of the three Committees to which the Bill has been assigned and I urge anyone who has an interest in numismatics in the State of Maryland to do the same and urge that section 11-214.1 of the Tax Article NOT be repealed and that the proposed repeal be deleted from the BRFA.

Listed below are links to the committees. Follow the links and you will find mailing addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers for the Chairs, Vice Chairs and Committee members:

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE (House):

APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE (House):

BUDGET AND TAXATION COMMITTEE (Senate):

Lets work together to eliminate this threat to the hobby (and business) we all love!

Frank Murphy, MSNA President