Will gold and silver get even greater recognition as wealth protection?
'Utah Legislature goes for gold, silver as currency options
Seen as hedge against dollar slide
The Utah Legislature on Thursday passed a bill allowing gold and silver coins to be used as legal tender in the state -- and for the value of their precious metal, not just the face value of the coins.
State backers said they hope the move will help insulate Utah from a potential monetary slide as countries question the value of the dollar. Others, casting their eye nationwide, said it could spur a broader move by Congress or states to readopt a gold standard.
'Utah, if the governor signs this particularly, they're going to change the national debate on monetary policy and get us back to basics,' said Jeffrey Bell, policy director for Washington-based American Principles in Action. Mr. Bell has been in Utah to help shepherd the legislation through.
Utah's bill allows stores to accept gold and silver coins as legal tender. It also exempts gold and silver transactions from the state's capital gains tax, though that does not shield exchanges from federal taxes.
The legislation directs a state committee to look at whether Utah should recognize an official alternate form of legal tender which could become a path for creating a formal state gold standard.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Gary R. Herbert, a Republican, said he has not yet taken a public stance on the bill.
State Rep. Brad J. Galvez, the chief sponsor of the measure, said he views it as a preliminary step on the path toward securing Utah's business climate.
'If the dollar continues to fall, what this will do will help stabilize the value of the dollar in Utah, so it helps stabilize the economy,' Mr. Galvez, a Republican, said.