Following the opening of the 428th Session of the Maryland General Assembly, Delegate Dana Stein (D-11th District) introduced House Bill 206, Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Precious Metal Bullion and Coins – Repeal. In short, the purpose of the bill was to remove the tax exempt status on all bullion and coin purchases in Maryland. This would cover the current exemption for sales over $1,000 and all sales at coin shows.

Days before the hearing, Whitman Publishing sent an email and posted a note on their website requesting help form Maryland collectors to contact the House Ways & Means Committee to oppose the bill. Whitman was rightfully worried that it would damage their investment in the thrice yearly Whitman Baltimore Expo. Essentially, Whitman was saying that if the law was repealed they would likely move their shows “to a friendlier state with no sales tax.” This would effect the loss of ancillary taxes at hotels, restaurants, and other establishments in the Inner Harbor that would be generated by show participants.

After being contacted by Whitman, I contacted my three delegates in the state legislature regardless of whether they were members of the Ways & Means Committee. One of my delegates is a member of that committee. On Monday, I received a letter from my delegate saying that the H.B. 206 was heard in committee and further action was a not scheduled. Since the session officially adjourns on April 11, it is expected H.B. 206 will die in committee.

Dana Stein, whose district covers northwest Baltimore County, or aids in his Annapolis office did not comment or return my call when contacted Monday afternoon.

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