Arkansas and Ohio coin dealers receive awards of service

Dan Hedges (Auro Industries, Little Rock, Arkansas, left) and David Miholer (The Executive Coin Company, Stow, Ohio, right) are the recipients of the 2021 Diane Piret Memorial Outstanding Service Award from the National Coin & Bullion Association.

National Coin & Bullion Association dealer members Dan Hedges (Auro Industries, Little Rock, Arkansas) and David Miholer (The Executive Coin Company, Stow, Ohio) received the association’s 2021 Diane Piret Memorial Outstanding Service Award for their continued service and financial support Funds receive contributions to obtain sales tax exemption on the sale of collectible coins, bullion, bars and currencies in the state of Arkansas and to reinstate Ohio’s bullion and bullion coin or bar exemption.

In the spring of 2018, Paul Mason (Mason’s Coin and Pawn, Hot Springs, Arkansas) approached the NCBA for assistance with an initiative to introduce a sales tax exemption for coins, currency and bullion. A coalition of Arkansas dealers was formed, led by Mason and Tom Poole (Northeast Arkansas Coin Company, Jonesboro, Arkansas) with the help of Hedges. They hired a lobbyist and oversaw the creation of a bill sponsored by Senator Mark Johnson in 2019. The bill did not receive enough positive votes to pass the committee before the uninterrupted adjournment of the April General Assembly.

Despite the setback, Hedges persevered and took up the gauntlet to lead the effort without lobbyists when lawmakers reconvened in 2021. Senator Johnson introduced SB 336 to provide a sales and use tax exemption for coins, currency and bullion. This time, the Senate Revenue & Tax Committee successfully guided the bill through the legislative process in both chambers and delivered it to Gov. Hutchinson on April 27, 2021.

“We thank Dan Hedges for his perseverance and the tremendous support of everyone who helped him with this campaign,” said David Crenshaw, Executive Director of the NCBA.

“The NCBA partnership, our team and many others have been invaluable in the success of our efforts,” said Hedges.

In July 2019, the Ohio Legislature removed the sales tax exemption for purchases of investment metal bars and coins from its budget. Although the Ohio dealer community rallied and urged Governor DeWine to veto the wording and protect the exemption, no action was taken before he signed the law into law.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out many opportunities for law change in 2020, but Miholer has assembled a coalition of Ohio coin shop owners to restore the lost exemption. He found sponsors in the legislature and helped push through changes to include a sales tax exemption for bullion coins and bars in the state budget for fiscal year 2022-2023. Copper and nickel collector coins and paper money are not exempt, although collector coins made primarily of gold and silver (such as dimes, quarters, and dollars minted before 1965, and all higher-grade gold coins) and platinum or palladium bullion coins qualify.

The Ohio Senate and House of Representatives passed HB 110 on June 28, 2021, and just after midnight on July 1, 2021, Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law.

“This exemption is critical to the growth of our Ohio State businesses. Thank you to everyone who has made our work a success over the past two years, especially Rachel Tilves, Brad Karoleff, Andrew Reames and Pat Heller,” said Miholer.

“Dave Miholer never relented in his quest to regain his state’s sales tax exemption. He understood how important the tax exemption was to his business and all other Ohio merchants, to Ohio residents and even to the state government,” said Pat Heller, NCBA board member and sales tax exemption expert.

The Diane Piret Memorial Outstanding Service Award is typically presented at the NCBA Members Dinner and Update during the Florida United Numismatist Convention. However, the NCBA event was canceled due to issues with the current surge in the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The award commemorates the 25-year career of the NCBA’s former Director of Industrial Affairs, who died in 2015.

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