Cheney: All Credit Unions Lose if Any Credit Union is Taxed

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President and CEO Bill Cheney had a candid conversation and shared some backstage insight into advocacy and regulation with about 60 Northwest credit union leaders in Sunriver, Ore. last week.

“If any credit union is taxed, we all lose,” Cheney said in an open dialogue with attendees to the Executive Summit, presented by the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) and the Northwest Council of the Credit Union Executives Society (CUES). “Once the nose is under the tent, it’s all over.”

Cheney was persistent calling credit unions to action as congress considers tax reform. CUNA’s “Don’t Tax My Credit Union” website has seen hundreds of thousands of answered calls from credit union employees and members, but not all credit union leaders have called their teams to battle yet.

At the very hour Cheney was meeting with Summit delegates Friday, U.S. Senators were submitting their ideas for tax reform legislation to the Senate Committee on Finance. The comments were requested with a July 26 deadline set by Committee leadership—Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

“Senator Baucus said recently in an interview that credit unions won’t be taxed if he has anything to do with it. Well, as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, he probably has something to do with it. But he needs help,” Cheney said. While respectful of the challenges from busy agendas, regulatory issues, and advocacy fatigue credit unions face, he stressed the tax messaging should be sustained until it’s certain credit unions’ tax exemption is protected in the tax code.

“If we put our heads in the sand, we all lose.”

Cheney’s dialogue with Executive Summit attendees was facilitated by Troy Stang, president and CEO of the NWCUA.

Other topics of discussion included:

  • Member Business Lending
  • Supplemental Capital
  • Housing Finance Reform
  • The NCUA
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • Regulatory Relief

Cheney shared the 3,000 foot view of CUNA’s efforts to improve the regulatory environment for credit unions. He assured credit union leaders that on the NCUA’s Risk Based Capital issue, CUNA is closely monitoring the comment process and is prepared to take action if necessary through comments or even in Congress.

Cheney added that CUNA has an emphasis currently working with the House Financial Services Committee on relief that could offer solutions for both credit unions and banks. In the last three years, Cheney noted, CUNA has testified over 30 times.

As for the big bank lobby’s amped up attacks on credit unions, Cheney said, “The banks’ goal is not to level the playing field; it’s to clear the playing field.”


Questions? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225,

Posted in Advocacy News, CUNA, Events.