Utah is now accepting gold and silver as legal tender for transactions and to settle debts according to a bill recently signed into law by Governor Gary R. Herbert. Several other states have proposed similar measures in the wake of the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve and the decreasing value of paper money.
Utah’s law is notable because it is the first such bill to pass. Over 150 years ago, Congress passed the Legal Tender Act, which authorized the use of paper notes to pay bills, and while paper money still retains the value noted, interest rates governing bonds and other savings or investment vehicles are at historic lows and are expected to remain at those lows through at least 2014.
Gold and silver bullion however, are at historically high values and observers expect those values to remain high for some time. House Bill 157 will allow for gold and silver bullion to be used for transactions based on the weight of the amount of metal presented. That is a key distinction because it expands out the use of gold and silver beyond face value on limited runs of precious metal coins offered through the US Treasury.
In practice, in Utah, individuals will be able to use gold and silver bullion in the same way as they would cash for transactions but also for currency exchanges. Individuals with the metal will be able to get fair market value in a trade for cash, or may start depositing or paying with it. The state will also be offering a one-time tax credit to offset any capital gains taxes accrued for individuals who choose to trade metal for paper.
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