Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA (February 2nd, 2023) – The Wyoming State Senate today voted 16-15, on a bipartisan basis, to pass a bill prompting the Wyoming state treasurer to hold gold and silver “specie” to protect the state – as well as establish a process to receive certain tax payments in specie.
Introduced by Senator Bob Ide (R-Casper), SF 101 amends and further implements the Wyoming Legal Tender Act, a popular 2018 law that had removed all tax liability from gold and silver transactions and affirmed that the monetary metals are legal tender in Wyoming.
Senate File 101 prompts the Wyoming state treasurer to create a formal system to deal directly in constitutional money – a system that would also include holding gold as an asset to help the Cowboy State hedge against its high exposure to Federal Reserve note dollars and potentially invest in precious metals leases and bonds.
The Department of Revenue could receive mineral tax payments denominated in specie, i.e. gold and/or silver. And in executing its duties, the state treasurer could hire precious metals firms that are experts in receiving, authenticating, exchanging, and storing gold and silver.
In specific terms, the bill requires the Wyoming treasurer to implement the Wyoming Legal Tender Act by:
(i) Authorizing the use of specie and specie legal tender for the payment of mineral taxes, subject to authentication procedures as determined by the state treasurer that are consistent with precious metals industry standards;
(ii) Determining, maintaining and publishing market-based exchange rates between specie, specie legal tender and other legal tender currencies on a real‑time basis on the website of the state treasurer for the purpose of calculating tax payments to or from the state.
(iii) Exchanging specie and specie legal tender for other legal tender currencies;
(iv) Holding specie and specie legal tender;
(v) If market conditions warrant, investing in precious metal leases or bonds payable in precious metals.
Wyoming has vast natural resources, and the Department of Revenue receives significant tax revenues from producers of commodities such as oil, gas, and metals.
By creating a mechanism which enables Wyoming to receive tax payments – or to potentially make payments – in gold and silver, the Cowboy State would establish an alternative unit of payment in the face of a Federal Reserve note that continues to be devalued.
In his testimony before the Senate Revenue Committee last week, Sound Money Defense League policy director Jp Cortez said, “Proposals encouraging state gold holdings have come before the legislature since January 2019, but no bills have been passed. During the last four years of inaction on sound money, gold bullion, priced in declining dollars, has risen by 50%.”
Cortez continued, “Given the financial risks facing the U.S., Wyoming should take these modest steps toward creating alternative ways of transacting and saving using sound money.”
Since 2018, Wyoming has established itself as a leader on sound money issues, as evidenced by the Cowboy State’s first place finish in the 2023 Sound Money Index.
After passing the Senate, SF 101 now heads to the Wyoming House for further consideration.