While states like New York are busy formulating innovation-stifling laws for the blockchain-based virtual currency ecosystem, Arizona sees the world of distributed ledgers technology a bit more clearly. However, a clog has appeared in the wheels of the state’s movement towards the acceptance of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for tax payments.
According to public records, on February 8, 2018, the Arizona Senate passed the Senate Bill 1091, which was introduced by some lawmakers on January 10, 2018, and got approved by the Senate Finance Committee on January 24, by a 4-3 vote.
The Bill was then passed on to the state’s House of Representatives for further approval. The bill seeks to make it possible for residents to pay their taxes with “a payment gateway, such as bitcoin, litecoin or any other cryptocurrency recognized by the department, using electronic peer-to-peer systems.”
“It’s 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,” said Rep. Jeff Weninger, one of the co-sponsors of the bill back in February.
A Major Setback
On April 6, 2018, reports emerged that the bill was being tweaked a bit to make it more agnostic about specific digital currencies that could be used for tax remittance.
“I made some changes to it with Senator Petersen’s permission that we would become more agnostic about name specific digital currencies. We’re leaving it up to the Revenue Department to pin that,” Weninger hinted on April 6.
According to public records, the House of Representatives passed the Senate Bill 1091 into law on April 30 by a 43-14 vote. However, the enacted bill is now completely different from the original document earlier approved by the Senate.
Amidst this backdrop, lawmakers from the House of Representatives and the Senate are now working together to salvage the situation.
The bone of contention is that the mandate that would have made it possible for the state’s Department of Revenue to accept tax payments in cryptocurrencies has been pushed back, and it is now almost impossible to implement the bill at current.
This latest development is a massive setback for the Arizona cryptospace, and no one can say for sure when the ugly situation will be resolved. At this point, proponents of the bill can only hope it doesn’t get dismantled entirely.