Arizona’s cryptocurrency tax payments bill is being reworked, according to one of its sponsors, with the hope of putting it forward for a vote in the coming weeks.
In an interview, Arizona Representative Jeff Weninger detailed the work being done on the measure, which, as previously reported by CoinDesk, would allow residents in the state to pay their tax liabilities with cryptocurrency.
The Arizona Senate advanced the measure back in February, but public records seemed to indicate that the proposed law was stalling in the House of Representatives after a committee had recommended its passage.
“We’re still working on moving it,” Weninger said, explaining that he was working with Senator Warren Petersen – who drafted the measure – on some changes. One key alteration would make the language more “agnostic” about which cryptocurrencies can be used, with the term “bitcoin” specifically being stripped out of the bill itself.
“I made some changes to it with Senator Petersen’s permission that we would become more agnostic about name specific digital currencies. We’re leaving it up to the Revenue Department to pin that.”
Weninger indicated that the reworked bill would also leave it up to tax officials to decide whether they would set up their own method of exchanging crypto to U.S. dollars, or arrange “a competitive process to let startups compete to convert it and send U.S. dollars,” he added.
“I’m hopeful that and anticipating that it’ll be there in the next week or two. There’s a lot going on and we’re doing everything we can to get all the members comfortable with it and understand it,” he said, explaining that some lawmakers were expressing caution due to a lack of understanding about the tech – a circumstance that scuttled a similar measure in the U.S. state of Georgia.
Speaking more broadly, Weninger argued that Arizona has positioned itself as a positive environment for startups working with the tech, owing to the legislation passed to date. The first of those, signed into law last year, was submitted by Weninger and recognized blockchain signatures and smart contracts as legally valid.
“I think with the package of bills that we’ve done, we’re showing that we’re welcome to these new-age entrepreneurs and this new technology and we’re very much encouraged and we hope people are noticing it,” he said, adding:
“We hope to lead on this and other technologies in the future.”