Arizona's Bitcoin Tax Bill Just Got a Big Vote of Confidence

Stan Higgins
Mar 8, 2018 at 16:20 UTC

A committee in the Arizona House of Representatives has recommended the passage of a bill allowing state residents to pay their tax bills in bitcoin.

Public records show that the House's Ways and Means Committee advanced the measure on March 7. While the bill won't be finalized until the full House puts it up to a vote, the endorsement raises the likelihood that it will be sent to the governor's desk for signature - and become state law.

Lawmakers first began considering the measure back in January, as CoinDesk previously reported. If approved, residents can pay "tax and any interest and penalties" using "bitcoin or other cryptocurrency." While the specifics of this process will likely need to be fleshed out further, the measure also calls for the state's Department of Revenue to convert the cryptocurrency to U.S. dollars within 24 hours.

Arizona's State Senate passed the bill by a 16-13 vote on February 8, as reported at the time, and the bill was then passed on to the House just over a week later.

If the bill is eventually signed into law, Arizona would become the first U.S. state to accept cryptocurrencies for tax payments. But it may not be the last - as CoinDesk has reported, lawmakers in Illinois and Georgia have made similar proposals, though it remains to be seen whether those measures will enjoy similar support.

Recent comments from one of the bill's co-sponsors suggest that the measure fits into a wider plan to make Arizona an accommodative environment for the tech.

"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," Arizona State Rep. Jeff Weninger told Fox News last month.

Bitcoin and dollars image via Shutterstock

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