NWCUA Sends ECONorthwest Report to President Obama
July 2, 2013
July 2, 2013
As credit union members are asked to engage in a grassroots campaign to amplify the “don’t tax my credit union” message to congress, President Obama is hearing from credit union leadership.
Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) President and CEO Troy Stang this week shared an ECONorthwest study by two economists with the White House. “Credit Unions vs. Banks; The Myth of the Uneven Playing Field” debunks bank lobby claims that credit unions’ corporate tax exemption gives them an unfair competitive advantage over banks.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, Stang details how the credit union tax exemption benefits consumers. Pointing out credit unions’ stewardship during the Great Recession, Stang wrote, “…credit unions once again served as the not-for-profit counterbalance to the banks’ risky and harmful behavior, and required no taxpayer bailouts.”
“The banks would like nothing better than to eliminate the credit unions’ “people before profits” model and remove the counterbalance that keeps banks’ services in check and protects all consumers from an anti-competitive market,” Stang continued.
At the federal level, all tax exemptions are under the microscope as congress considers comprehensive tax reform as part of a fix for the $16.7 trillion budget deficit. In a new development last week, Senate Finance Committee leaders Sen. Max Baucus and Sen. Orrin Hatch sent a letter to their colleagues and asked for their input drafting tax reform legislation. Their letter points out that some of the tax exemptions serve “important objectives” and should be kept if there is clear evidence they meet certain objectives such as growing the economy.
“Now is the time for everyone—staff, directors, and members—to make sure that congress gets the message and keeps the credit union corporate tax exemption in the tax code,” said Jennifer Wagner, the NWCUA’s vice president of legislative advocacy. “The “Don’t Tax my Credit Union” website has a direct link to congress and if your members will use that resource we can track the response.” Wagner noted that nationally, over 200,000 contacts were made to congress in the first three weeks the site was established. Nearly 6,000 contacts were made by Oregon credit union supporters, while Washington generated more than 3,200 contacts during the early weeks.
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