Most of you have probably heard about the California couple who uncovered a multimillion dollar stash of gold coins. It’s an amazing find but the two performed the cardinal sin of finding treasure; they talked about it. Now that the government has caught wind of the find it wants a cut of the action that it had absolutely no part in:
The Northern California couple that found $10 million worth of rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of an old tree on their property will likely owe about half the find’s value whether they sell the gold or not.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the find is a taxable event under a 1969 federal court ruling that held a “treasure trove” is taxable the year it was discovered.
“If you find and keep property that does not belong to you that has been lost or abandoned (treasure-trove), it is taxable to you at its fair market value in the first year it is your undisputed possession,” the report said, citing the IRS tax guide.
What right does the state have in taking half of the “fair market” value (whatever the fuck that means)? The state didn’t bury that treasure, it didn’t dig up the gold that makes up the discovered coins, it doesn’t own the property those coins were found on (even though it would like to claim that it does own that property), and it provided no work in digging up the coins. But somehow it believes it is owed almost half of the trove’s value.
And if the couple that uncovered those coins don’t give the state what it wants it will send armed goons to kidnap and cage the couple while confiscating the entirety of the discovered coins. I’m at a loss on how the state differs from the mafia beyond the mafia actually knowing how to dress.