WASHINGTON (10/23/13)--Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney had yet another opportunity to advocate for the continuation of the credit union tax exemption when he and senior CUNA staff met with U.S. Treasury Department Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur and other agency staff this week.
|Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney (not shown), General Counsel Eric Richard, Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn, Chief Economist Bill Hampel and Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan attended a Treasury meeting to discuss credit union tax issues. (CUNA Photo)|
"As key members of Congress continue to consider tax reform, I felt it was essential that we meet again with tax policy advisors at Treasury to ensure they are continually reminded that taxing credit unions would be bad public policy that would hurt consumers and small business, as well as credit unions. We had the opportunity to discuss this issue and present our views thoroughly; it was a very productive session," Cheney said.
General Counsel Eric Richard, Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn, Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan and Chief Economist Bill Hampel also attended the Treasury meeting.
Cheney and CUNA staff stressed the significance of the tax exemption to the credit union system but they also emphasized the benefits of the tax exemption to the consumers, small businesses and communities that credit unions serve. Such benefits include lower fees, lower rates on loans and a better return on shares and deposits than other financial institutions often provide, they said. The group discussed other benefits that credit unions offer, including loans and other services to low-income members.
The discussion also focused on the cooperative structure, one-member, one vote, and democratic control of credit unions. "These attributes are strengths and hallmarks of credit unions that make them unique among financial institutions in this country--these are key distinctions that the tax exemption ensures will remain," Cheney said. The group also emphasized that the value of the tax exemption to communities far exceeds the amount of revenue that would be collected if the tax exemption were eliminated.
CUNA has called on credit unions to redouble their tax advocacy efforts as members of the U.S. Congress return to normal business. (See Oct. 18 News Now story: CUNA: CUs Must Redouble Efforts As Normalcy Returns In D.C.)