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Arizona Overhauls Blockchain Bill to Focus on Crypto Payments

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:06 PM
Gerelyn Terzo
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:06 PM

An Arizona Senate bill that previously focused on state income tax is getting a makeover, the Senator who crafted the bill tells CCN.com.

Senator Warren Petersen, a Republican, said the bill is being redesigned to instead focus on point-of-sale crypto tax payments known as the transaction privilege tax (TPT) in the state. Arizona residents could be the first in the United States to make a purchase at the point-of-sale in bitcoin or an altcoin with the taxes on the transaction sent directly to the state.

The bill, which will continue to be called SB 1091 , will be making its way through the State Legislature once again and is expected to make its way to the House floor within a couple of weeks, he said. If it passes, which  Senator Petersen expects there will be enough votes to make it through, Arizona will be hailed as a leader and innovator for cryptocurrency payments.

Senator Petersen agreed that adoption of blockchain technology has been sweeping the western United States, with his state and others taking the lead for innovation.

Meanwhile, cumbersome regulation across the country in New York has stifled innovation, which is something he is trying to avoid.

“New York was booming and then all of a sudden they had massive, burdensome regulations. More than 10 companies fled the state or shut down altogether. Arizona is not going to do that. We’re going to encourage innovation and new ideas and technology. So this is part and parcel to that,” Senator Petersen told CCN.com.

Mechanics of the Bill

With the changes to SB 1091, the bill becomes more broadly focused on cryptocurrency payments, which the Senator said is “positive progress” for the industry that will encourage people to use cryptocurrencies anywhere.

“We’re going to allow TPT payments at the point of sale using blockchain technology. That means you are going to use blockchain technology but you’re also going to have the ability to use that point-of-sale to pay with cryptocurrencies, cash, credit card — whatever you pay with. There will be an immediate sales tax payment made to the state of Arizona, whether it’s in cash, cryptocurrencies or credit card payment,” Senator Petersen explained.

Senator Petersen’s original idea for the bill applied to state income tax payments. It’s clearly evolved and he says “this is much more exciting.”

“I think we will win the House and we’ll have the votes to get to the finish line. It still has to come back to the Senate. It still has a ways to go. But I feel good about it. I feel more optimism about this getting signed than the income tax bill,” he said.

Arizona Capitol image from Shutterstock.