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The US man pays taxes with five wheelbarrows of coins

Nick Stafford with his five wheelbarrows of coins (11 January 2017)Author's image
DAVID CRIGGER / BHC

Image caption

Nick Stafford has purchased five wheelbarrows to carry his tax payment

An American businessman in dispute with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) paid his bill of $ 3000 with five wheelbarrows containing 300,000 coins.

Nick Stafford from Cedar Bluff, Virginia, delivered so many coins that the DMV automatic meters failed to cope with the volume.

His delivery follows a discussion he had with the Virginia DMV branch for contacting his staff for tax investigations.

It took at least seven hours to count the coins, working late.

They finally finished work early Thursday morning.

Author's image
DAVID CRIGGER / BHC

Image caption

Mr. Stafford has collected about 300,000 coins

Mr. Stafford told the BBC that he protested because he wanted government departments to be more responsive to public investigations.

"It should not matter if you pay $ 300 a year in income tax or pay $ 300,000 a year in income taxes like me, because the backbone of a free democracy / republic starts with government transparency, period, "he said.

Mr Stafford explains on his company's website that his dispute with the DMV arose because the department would not give him direct telephone numbers of whom to contact to register three vehicles and pay sales tax – bearing in mind that he owns three houses in different places.

He submitted a Freedom of Information request to which a direct number would be given, the Bristol Herald Courier reported, and eventually received a number he could call. But when he did, he was informed that it should not be used to respond to requests from the public.

Mr. Stafford then asked to know the direct numbers of nine other tax offices, even though the DMV had answered his initial question. When he was refused, he went to court to discuss his case.

Payment by Nick Stafford

  • Requests five wheelbarrows, which cost around $ 400
  • It required 11 people who had been hired to open the paper rolls of coins, taking four hours
  • It weighed 1,600 pounds (726 kg), heavier than a mature cow
  • It took at least seven hours to be counted

sources:The Bristol Herald Courier / Nick Stafford website

At the beginning of this week, a judge rejected the three lawsuits presented, refusing his request to fine DMV and its employees. But the legal representatives of the state handed him the telephone numbers he requested, many of which were prominently published on his website.

Mr. Stafford says that the DMV had to accept its unusual form of payment because the US Coinage Act of 1965 states that the currencies are "legal tender for all debts, public burdens, taxes and fees".

Author's image
DAVID CRIGGER / BHC

Image caption

Counting the coins was too much for the automatic machines of the DMV

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