WASHINGTON (7/12/13)--The Credit Union National Association is making the case for maintaining the credit union tax status with lawmakers and administration officials alike, and these efforts continued on Thursday as CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney wrote to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling.
Cheney urged both agency heads to support the continuation of the credit union tax status, and asked them to meet with CUNA on the tax issue at their convenience. The tax treatment of credit unions continues to serve the purpose for which it was created--promoting financial choices for consumers and small businesses, he emphasized.
"Annual tax revenues on credit unions would be barely enough to fund the federal government for one hour," Cheney noted in separate letters to both policymakers.
The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the credit union tax "expenditure" is $0.5 billion in 2012 and 2013, and an average annual cost of $0.8 billion between 2013 and 2017. However, Cheney added, the benefits credit unions provide to their members and others totaled $8 billion in 2012. And, he said, consumers are catching on to the benefits of joining a credit union: More than two million Americans joined credit unions in 2012.
"Because the substantial benefits of the exemption to the public far exceed its costs, credit unions' tax status continues to reflect good public policy," Cheney said.
"A tax on credit unions would reflect very poor public policy," he added. The loss of the tax exemption would seriously restrict the ability of credit unions to offer financial service options to consumers and small businesses and could result in a significant, rapid reduction in the number of credit unions that can continue to serve their communities, Cheney explained.
CUNA and the leagues are also involving members in direct tax status advocacy efforts. More than 300,000 separate congressional contacts have been made since mid-May as part of a groundbreaking CUNA/state credit union league advocacy effort. Credit unions and their members are using CUNA and the state credit union leagues' resources, social media sites including Facebook, and micro-video site Vine, to tell their legislators, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!" This pro-credit union message is also being shared through Twitter feeds, CUNA's Twitter handle @CUNAadvocacy and the hashtag, #DontTaxMyCU.
For more on CUNA advocacy efforts, use the resource links.