Proposed by Rep. Bob Wagner, a Harrison Republican, House Bill 513 sought to have Montana support some transactions with gold and silver coins and create a state reserve of silver and gold to accommodate transactions and use the revenue stream generated by the tax on tobacco. The law would have mandated state government to trade in gold units, beginning with those who pay taxes on tobacco products, Wagner said.
"To return to this system of honest value, former Federal Reserve Chairman Allen Greenspan suggested that a system would need to be developed to operate in a dual currency," he said during floor debate on the measure.
But some critics would not overlook unnecessary expenses that would be incurred by taxpayers when Montana would be forced to cover expenses if converting dollars to gold and vice-versa.
"If I'm filling out my income tax return, that's still going to be done in dollars, is it not?" asked Rep. Dick Barrett, a Missoula Democrat.