Texas Lawmaker: It’s Time to Protect Gold Depository, Reduce Precious-Metal Taxes

In 2015, Texas Governor Greg Abbott in 2015 signed into law an act establishing a state bullion depository at no cost to taxpayers. He intends to enter into a public-private partnership with a qualified company to provide a secure, physical depository and an agency of innovation.

A non-banking financial facility will provide Texans with secure resources for a wide range of gold-backed financial services privately sponsored and publicly supervised by the state of Texas.

Here is coverage from the Forth Worth Star-Telegram:

State leaders want to make sure that whenever and wherever a gold depository is eventually built in Texas, the facility is safe and sound.

State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, filed a bill recently to do everything from allowing operators to market and brand the facility to ensuring that security and operational information remains confidential.

“We filed this in order to make sure everything goes smoothly and we can get someone managing the depository as soon as possible,” Capriglione said. He added that the bill “is an important part of” completing the bidding process, which is behind its original schedule.

“It will make things a lot easier,” he said.

A related measure proposes eliminating property taxes on bullion and precious metals.

“We would get rid of that tax completely to make [the state] more competitive,” Capriglione said of House Joint Resolution 113.

If passed by the Legislature, the tax proposal would go before voters in November.

State officials have yet to name the company that will create the Texas Bullion Depository — which could hold deposits of gold and other precious metals from financial institutions, cities, school districts, businesses, individuals and countries — or announce where it will be.

Original plans called for having work on the winning proposal underway by Dec. 1. But state officials are still reviewing the proposals.

“Within the agency, we are still working to make sure we get this done as quickly as possible,” said Chris Bryan, a spokesman with the Texas comptroller’s office. “But we are also working to make sure we get this right.”

Looking ahead

House Bill 3169 updates the original law that allows the bullion depository and shields the state and comptroller from being held liable for the depository or related activities.

One provision of the bill would change where money generated by the depository goes.

The original law requires all fees and revenue to go into the state’s general fund. But since lawmakers only meet for 140 days every two years, that could make it difficult for the depository operator to get paid in a timely manner. So Capriglione said a rider is being added to the state budget to allow money generated by the depository to go to the operator.

Another provision of HB 3169 calls for the depository to give account holders statements that they must check over quickly and either report problems or accept.