Utah is making it easier for people to pay for things with gold and silver.
Gary Herbert, Utah's Republican governor, signed into law in late March a bill that will make it easier to pay taxes and do business in gold and silver, according to Herbert's website and the Salt Lake Tribune. Utah's House passed the bill by a 60-8 margin, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Retailers still will not be forced to accept gold and silver, according to the bill. Instead, Utah made it acceptable to use it as an alternative currency for willing buyers and sellers. As a result, many gold bugs may find it hard to use gold and silver on a daily basis.
"This is just designed to be an alternative currency," said Utah Rep. Brad Galvez, who sponsored the bill, in March, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. "It is not designed to replace the Federal Reserve by any means."
Utah's House also passed a bill in March that would have made it even easier to do commerce in gold and silver, by a 50-23 margin. Herbert does not appear to have signed the bill, since his website and the Salt Lake Tribune have not reported it.
Utah has been moving toward using gold and silver as a currency for more than a year. Herbert signed a bill into law in March of 2011 that made government-issued gold and silver coins legal tender for transactions and eliminated state capital gains taxes on their exchange, according to CNN Money. In doing so, it became the first state in the country to recognize gold and silver as a currency, according to the Associated Press.
Thirteen states -- including Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Tennessee -- are considering making gold and silver legal tender, according to the Salt Lake Tribune and CNN Money. Former Georgia state Rep. Bobby Franklin introduced the "Constitutional Tender Act" in 2010, which would have required Georgians to pay their state taxes in gold and silver.
The prices of gold and silver have spiked over the past few years due to investor anxiety. But prices have fallen since the fall as the economic recovery has started to take hold.