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Bitcoin Is Now Part of a Florida Tax Collector’s Election Campaign

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A longtime crypto supporter and Tax Collector for Seminole County, Florida is taking his love for digital currencies a step ahead. Joel Greenberg, recently added Bitcoin worth $240,000 to his reelection campaign.

A self-funded campaign

The Seminole County tax collector is running for re-election this year. He has declared a personal net worth of $5.9 million and recently deposited BTC worth $240,000 in his election campaign account. In a statement filed on September 3, he disclosed his financial records and later clarified that his campaign will be self-funded. He said,

“I feel weird taking money from other people. But I may take some small amounts. But I like the freedom [of not taking political contributions]”

Bitcoin Is Now Part of a Florida Tax Collector’s Election Campaign

He hasn’t made any public comments about his Bitcoin deposits into the campaign account. Democratic candidate Katrina Shadix, who is planning to run against Greenberg in next year’s elections was also unavailable for comments. She is yet to provide a detailed campaign contribution report. Shadix recently lost to Jay Zembower, a Republican for Seminole County Commission by a disappointingly small margin.

Bitcoin is entering politics

In the past couple of years, Bitcoin has become a more popular concept and taken hold of the public imagination. Politicians have also been unable to stay away from the grasp of digital currencies, and they are now investing Bitcoin in their political campaigns as well. Accepting donations in Bitcoin is growing in popularity too.

One of the earliest and highly publicized examples of such donations happened during the 2016 Presidential elections. At the time, R-Ky. Sen. Rand Paul launched a campaign for president which accepted Bitcoin donations. However, the campaign eventually failed later, in 2018, Democratic candidate eyeing a Congress seat from New York, Patrick Nelson, and also accepted donations in Bitcoin for his campaign.

Is it legal?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, which means that it operates in a legal grey zone. However, the IRS considers Bitcoin taxable. Federal election laws may make space for Bitcoin donations as ‘donations made in kind’, and they may be listed on the financial disclosure forms of the campaign. State election statutes have no such provisions, and they don’t mention anything about the use of Bitcoins to fund an election campaign at the state or local level. It only states that any contribution that is of value but not money must be included in the ‘donation in kind’ list.

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