- May 25, 2002
- Professional Status
- Certified Residential Appraiser
With pennies, nickels costing more to make than they're worth, Congress considers metal makeover
Steel pennies in 180 days
Enter the Coin Modernization and Taxpayer Savings Act of 2008, the subject of Tuesday's hearing. It would give the Treasury authority to set the weight and composition of any coin whose production costs exceed its face value for five consecutive years. It also requires the Mint to start producing a primarily steel penny within 180 days of the bill becoming law, so taxpayers would save money almost right away.
The bill requires any new coin to work in existing vending machines. That's a concession to the National Automatic Merchandising Association, which opposed an earlier version for fear that it could force hundreds of dollars in upgrades to each of the nation's more than 6 million dispensers of soda, snacks and other items. An association lobbyist testified in favor of the revised bill on Tuesday.