VERMILLION, S.D. (12/4/13)--South Dakota credit unions scored another victory as the Clay County Commission Tuesday voted unanimously (5-0) to indefinitely table the South Dakota Bankers Association's "Equalization in Taxation" resolution.
"It's another victory in what appears to be a long line of battles with banks at the city and county level," said Robbie Thompson, president/CEO, Credit Union Association of Dakotas.
"They are saying that the cities and counties would derive a great deal of revenue from the bank franchise tax, when we know that is not accurate," Thompson said. "The amount that goes to each city and county is minimal. They are trying to leverage the fact that cities and counties are struggling with budgets."
Also, late Monday afternoon, South Dakota banks asked the Vermillion City Commission to consider its "Equalization in Taxation" resolution proposal. Following debate and a response from CUAD and credit union advocates, the city commission took no action on the request. Official action could come at a later date. Representing credit unions were Janet Mount, president/CEO Vermillion FCU, and Amy Klienschmit, CUAD director of compliance.
South Dakota banks continued their push Tuesday with a planned presentation before the Campbell County Commissioners in Mount, S.D.
For the past several months, a select group of South Dakota banks, has promoted a state-wide effort to implore local lawmakers to impose taxes (local, franchises, or federal) on not-for-profit credit unions. Banks' core argument is that credit unions have grown "beyond their intended purposes in both size and scope," and changing the credit union tax status will solve local, state, and federal budget shortfalls.
Banks have approached nine city or county boards with their tax proposal. Three boards have tabled the proposal indefinitely.
"We are going to continue to fight these battles in every city and county where it is proposed, and be prepared for whatever the bankers do next," said Thompson.
The South Dakota Bankers Association on Nov. 25 presented a resolution proposal to the Yankton (S.D.) City Commission in support of taxing federal credit unions and farm credit system institutions. Credit union advocates attended the meeting and successfully defended against the banks' claims, the CUAD reported (News Now Nov. 27). The city commission tabled the resolution and will consider it at a later date.
On a state-wide conference call for South Dakota credit union leaders last week, CUAD requested its membership to be vigilant in scanning local school board, city and county commission agendas for more bank attempts to present their "taxation" resolution proposals and requests.