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Councilman seeks support for gold and silver as legal tender

By Dave Cawley | Posted - Jan 21st, 2013 @ 9:25pm

HIGHLAND — Utah has a law declaring gold and silver coin legal tender, but a Highland City Council member says it's time the government did more to support the use of precious metals.

State agencies have found the logistics of actually accepting gold and silver is a bit difficult. Values can change, and holding gold comes with its own set of risks.

Council member Tim Irwin said government entities are not able to hold gold and silver because it cannot be deposited in a federally insured bank. He said that's the biggest barrier the legislature should remove.

Tuesday, the Highland City Council will consider Irwin's resolution that encourages the governor and legislature - and by extension the Congress - to find solutions to that and other problems.

"It's just good for people to have a choice," Irwin said.

He believes the use of gold and silver as legal tender would push Congress to reduce the nation's debt. It would also bring down inflation.

"The government is just printing so many paper dollars that they're losing their value," he said.

Some critics point out it takes extra work to accept the metals instead of printed money.

"It could increase our costs," said council member Brian Braithwaite. He feels it's not Highland's job to fix the nation's problems.

"Cities should run cities," he said.

He's not sure if he'll vote for or against the resolution, saying that depends on what Irwin proposes.

The council will be presented with the resolution during its meeting Tuesday night. Draft language of the resolution is on page 23 of the agenda.

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