Despite overwhelming support among lawmakers and activists, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed legislation that would have made Arizona the second state to officially define gold and silver as legal tender. The GOP governor acknowledged that concerns over the increasingly unstable U.S. dollar were justified. However, citing a minuscule projected drop in tax revenue and other trivial excuses, Brewer refused to support the popular bill. Activists are now hoping lawmakers will try to override the governor.
In an open letter about the veto of SB 1439 to Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs, the governor claimed that alleged “administrative and fiscal burdens” for taxpayers and the state revenue department “remain vague.” In addition, Brewer cited an example of her supposed confusion, claiming it was “unclear” whether the measure would have required Arizona to exempt income tax related to a transaction with collectible coins or currency originally authorized by Congress and used as legal tender.
“This would result in lost revenue to the state, while giving businesses that buy and sell collectable coins or currency originally authorized by Congress an unfair tax advantage,” Brewer wrote in explaining her controversial decision, which sparked an outcry among conservatives and sound-money advocates. Despite the supposed worry over “lost revenue,” however, experts said the legislation was unlikely to have any significant impact on the state budget — especially not if, as critics of the bill alleged, few people were interested in using sound money anyway.
Still, Brewer did suggest that she understood growing nationwide fears surrounding the Federal Reserve System, inflation, and wild federal spending. “While I believe the concern over a devalued dollar as a result of an unsustainable federal deficit is justified, I am unable to support this legislation,” she wrote. “I believe the provisions in this legislation need to be more carefully examined and there should be prior coordination with those government agencies tasked with oversight of these transactions.”