Northwest Credit Unions Go Online to Engage Members in Tax Issue

At the same time they’re promoting lower car loan rates than banks, convenient e-banking and better interest rates on home equity loans and credit cards, Northwest credit unions are also leveraging their online resources to inform members about the tax threat.

With Congressional committees looking at all tax exemptions during the deficit crisis, credit union members are being asked to weigh in, to support the corporate tax exemption that helped return $6 billion to more than 90 million members last year. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has launched DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org, which directly connects consumers to their Representatives. The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) has launched Truth Speaks to share Northwest-specific data with members.

Northwest credit unions are using those resources to connect the dots for their members.

Unitus Community Credit Union posted a can’t-miss “Don’t Tax my Credit Union” slide on the homepage, which clicks through to an informative article on the reasons the credit union tax model benefits consumers. The blog is localized to include an update on the Oregon bank lobby’s attack on members. It asks why banks would engage in such a battle when they control 93% of all financial assets nationwide. The credit union also collected in-branch signatures from members in support of the tax model.

TwinStar Credit Union CEO Jeff Kennedy also weighed in with an online letter to the credit union’s 96,000 members.

“A tax on credit unions is another tax on you,” Kennedy wrote. “It takes just minutes to help protect the credit union choice. You can take action by visiting the website, DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org and be connected to your legislators.” TwinStar also connects members to Truth Speaks.

Eugene consumers can’t miss the message that the credit union tax model must be protected. In-your-face positioning on Oregon Community Credit Union’s homepage is just part of the outreach to Main Street. CEO Mandy Jones shared some high-level intelligence with members, detailing the study by two economists that debunks bank lobby claims the tax model gives credit unions an unfair competitive advantage.“Credit Unions vs. Banks: The Myth of the Uneven Playing Field” was completed by ECONorthwest economists Dr. Randall Pozdena and Dr. Michael Wilkerson after the NWCUA requested an independent analysis of data comparing commercial bank and credit union performance over several decades.

Industrial Credit Union is also reaching out to members online, with a reminder that “People before Profits” has been a priority for the credit union for 70 years, and remains so today. Industrial educates members about the threat to the credit union tax model in an online article.

“Members care about the value we bring to their families,” said Terri Salstrom, CEO. “We need the help of those members so that we can continue to provide that value for generations to come.”

OSU Federal Credit Union cut right to the chase—make that, wallet—in on online blog called, “You, OSU Federal and federal tax reform.”

“Let’s imagine for a moment that someone wants to take $152 out of your household budget. Are you okay with that,” asked the online blog referring to the estimated savings the average Oregon credit union member household enjoyed last year. OSU Federal’s article also quotes a Voter/Consumer Research poll conducted earlierthis year finding that “…70% of Oregon voters agree that because credit unions are not-for-profit, they should not have pay business or occupation taxes.”

Global Credit Union also posted a homepage call to action, urging its members to “take action today to preserve financial choice for 96 million American consumers.” Likewise at Sound Credit Union where a homepage slide show asks members to “help us send a message to Congress.”

Numerica Credit Union is encouraging its members to share the message on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and the credit union provides easy links to make that possible. “At Numerica, it’s the well-being of our community and our members that we care about. Don’t let Congress take this away,” declared a message to members.

 

Questions? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in Around the NW, NWCUA.