First Tax-Reform Drafts Expected Soon; Credit Unions Urged to Prepare Next Round of ‘Don’t Tax’

National and regional advocacy leaders are urging credit unions to make plans now for the next grassroots “Don’t Tax My Credit Union!” campaign as Congress prepares to focus its attention on tax reform very soon, now that the government shutdown is over.

CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney told league presidents in a letter Monday that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) could release the first “discussion drafts” of tax-reform legislation as soon as this week. In the House Ways and Means Committee, Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) also is at work on draft bills that could become part of budget negotiations, Cheney said.

“All summer and fall, we’ve warned you that tax reform was coming—tax reform that, if the big banks and their lobbyists have their way—could raise taxes on 96 million American credit union members,” CUNA said in a separate email to advocates.

“The ink isn’t dry yet on proposed tax-reform legislation,” the email said. “If we make enough noise in the next few critical days, we can ensure Congress knows just how much middle-class families rely on their credit union for an affordable option in the financial marketplace.”

That call to action was echoed by Jennifer Wagner, the Northwest Credit Union Association’s vice president for legislative advocacy. “You’ve heard us say that this effort to protect our tax status will have peaks and valleys, and that we’ll need you to engage several times along the way,” she said in her own message to credit union advocates on Monday. “Now is one of those times.”

Wagner asked Northwest credit unions to update staff on the current status of tax reform in Washington, D.C.; to ask staff and board members to send another letter through www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org by Nov. 15; and to prepare to engage members after tax-reform drafts are introduced in Congress.

Cheney urged credit unions to ask their members to write, email, tweet or call lawmakers. CUNA’s www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org website includes prewritten letters and other tools to make the process simple; so does the NWCUA’s Truth Speaks site. Members can also call 1.877.642.4223 and be connected directly to lawmakers’ offices, Cheney said.

Since late May, the “Don’t Tax My Credit Union!” campaign has generated more than 1.2 million calls, emails, letters and social-media posts to Congressional offices. “Northwest credit unions have produced more than 30,000 contacts to Congressional leaders,” Wagner said. “We need to double that before the end of the year.”

 

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, CUNA.