A bill that would make Arizona the first US State to accept payment for taxes in “bitcoin or other cryptocurrency” has officially been endorsed by the Arizona House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee.
The bill, which passed by the Arizona State Senate earlier this year, isn’t law yet–and it won’t be unless the full Arizona House votes it onto the books. However, the endorsement by the committee is at least some indication that the bill has a shot at being passed.
Arizona Representative Jeff Weninger told Fox News that this bill is “one of a litany of bills that we’re running that is sending a signal to everyone in the United States, and possibly throughout the world, that Arizona is going to be the place to be for blockchain and digital currency technology in the future.”
“The ease of use, being able to do it in the middle of the night, being able to do it at home while you’re watching TV,” he continued. “I think in a few years this isn’t even going to be a question.”
We just passed S1091 from House Ways and Means with my amendment. What could it mean for you? Pay your #AZ income taxes with #cryptocurrency. Forward looking, innovative, and protects against volatility.
— Jeff Weninger (@JeffWeninger) March 7, 2018
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Among other things, the bill will require the Arizona Department of Revenue to convert the cryptocurrency into fiat within 24 hours of receiving it. Quite a few other logistical matters will need to be ironed out if the state does start accepting crypto payments.
Opposition: “American Dollars Ought to Be Good Enough”
Not everyone is happy about the advancement of the bill. Democratic Representative Senator Steve Farley of Tucson said that “what this does in effect is transfer the volatility risk off of the person paying their taxes and onto the Department of Revenue and thus all other taxpayers.”
“I think American dollars ought to be good enough,” he added, bluntly.
CoinDesk reported that Arizona isn’t the only state mulling over this type of legislation–lawmakers in Georgia and Illinois have both been considering passing similar bills.
Whether or not this bill becomes law, the US federal government will have the final word on crypto. The SEC, FinCEN, and the US Treasury have all been making calculated moves to close in on crypto over the past several weeks. While crypto legislation has been a patchwork of laws that vary state-by-state, it’s very likely that the federal government will develop a comprehensive legal structure for cryptocurrency in the near future.
Just this week, the SEC announced that all cryptocurrency exchanges are now legally required to register with the agency.
In an appearance on Fox Business News, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton issued a pointed warning to firms dealing in cryptocurrency: “Abide by the law. We are watching.”