If Texas is going to establish a bullion depository — and the Legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott have firmly decided that it will — let’s make it a straightforward business operation and not pile extreme political philosophies on top of it.
“We here are in full support of Texas and their efforts to restore and defend our Constitution of this Republic to these United States of America,” a company called PMB&V of Spokane, Wash., wrote in response to Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s invitation for ideas about the depository.
Another company, Texas Precious Metals, called the depository “a unique alternative to the federal monetary system” in the event of a banking crisis.
And a third company, GoldMoney of Toronto, proposed that Texas “develop a legal strategy to defend its constitutional monetary rights and obligations” and oppose “any attempt by the federal government” to tax bullion in the depository.
So far, Hegar shows no indication he’s under the influence of the far-out fringe.
The Legislature this year approved House Bill 483 by state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R.-Southlake, establishing the depository as an agency of the state within the comptroller’s office.
The idea, in sane form, is to allow Texas and its residents to store gold and other precious metals — in bars, coins and other uniform shapes and amounts — in the state rather than pay fees to keep it in vaults in faraway places like New York.
In signing the bill, Abbott called it “the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation.”
The Texas Tribune reported that more than a dozen companies responded to Hegar’s request for ideas about how to set up the depository.
Some made more business sense than others.
Constructing a new, secure depository could be expensive.
Texas Precious Metals, which runs a private bullion depository in Shiner, proposed a 46,000-square-foot state facility, “a monument to the state of Texas.”
But Brink’s, the worldwide armored car company, said it already operates several secure branch locations in Texas and would use existing vault storage for the state’s needs.
Las Vegas-based Anthem Vault also said it would use its multiple secure Texas locations “to enable all Texans access to their bullion within a reasonable distance from their homes.”
Anthem offered to set up coin shops and retail storefronts to accept deposits on behalf of the state.
Hegar is expected to finalize state requirements and issue a formal request for bids.