By Jp Cortez
Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation last week requiring the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) to examine the feasibility of creating a state depository to secure gold owned by the state and/or citizens.
House Bill 353, introduced by Rep. Bud Hulsey, and Senate Bill 279, introduced by Senator Paul Rose, call for TACIR to report its findings and recommendations to the Speaker of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Legislative Librarian no later than January 1, 2022.
Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, HB 353 and SB 279 passed out of both of their committees unanimously, receiving votes of 90-0 and 32-0, respectively.
If Tennessee were to insure state funds against the perils of inflation and financial turmoil through a gold allocation, storage fees would normally be paid to businesses in another state.
By establishing an in-state depository, however, Tennessee could eliminate the risks inherent in using storage provided by Wall Street bullion banks, save money on storage fees, and create jobs by holding its monetary metals inside the Volunteer State.
Tennessee could eventually join Texas as the only other state with an in-state, publicly managed precious metals depository. The involvement of a state government in an otherwise private depository potentially provides a layer of constitutional protection against federal-government aggression, such as the gold expropriation of 1933.
Another reason states are considering the storage of gold bullion within their own borders is concerns about Wall Street financial shenanigans involving the gold market as well as concerns about poor oversight of U.S.-owned gold (which has not undergone a credible audit for decades).
That’s why Congressman Alex Mooney (R-WV) recently introduced the Gold Reserve Transparency Act (H.R. 3526) and has questioned the lack of credible auditing and whether the Federal Reserve Bank and the Department of the Treasury have been pledged, swapped, leased, or otherwise encumbered America’s gold.
Although its depository study bill is a positive step, Tennessee is one of only 10 states that still harshly penalizes citizens through sales taxation when they seek to protect their savings from the ravages of inflation by acquiring gold and silver. For several years, Rep. Hulsey has been a champion for sound money in Tennessee by sponsoring legislation to eliminate these unjust sales tax on gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
If Tennessee were to pass a law eliminating the sales tax on the purchase of gold and silver and establish and ultimately an in-state gold depository, the state would move from 46th to the top-12 best states in the country, as measured by the Sound Money Index. The Sound Money Index is the first of its kind, ranking all 50 states using twelve indicators to determine which states offer the most pro-sound money environment.
Jp Cortez is a graduate of Auburn University and a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the Policy Director of the Sound Money Defense League, an organization working to bring back gold and silver as America’s constitutional money. Follow him on Twitter @JpCortez27
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