WASHINGTON (10/23/13)--The nation's banks have broken an unwritten rule in tax debates in their fight with credit unions over the credit union tax status, observed a Tuesday article in Politico.
The article said most businesses that want to influence the current efforts to overhaul the country's tax code focus on preserving their own tax "perks," not on tearing down those of others.
However, big banks want the exemption gone, and smaller banks have named the repeal of the credit union exemption from federal income tax as their current No. 1 priority, said Politico.
Ryan Donovan, senior vice president for legislative affairs at the Credit Union National Association, explained in the article that credit unions have their current tax status because of a fundamental difference between banks and credit unions--their not-for-profit mission.
"We're out there helping consumers get loans and helping consumers acquire and maintain savings, while banks exist to make money for their shareholders," said Donovan. "They are completely different organizations."
Politico highlighted CUNA's nationwide "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign through which credit union members have sent more than 850,000 messages to Congress.
CUNA's Donovan noted, "There isn't a member of Congress that has come out publicly and said 'hey let's tax credit unions.' The article even mentions that a key player in the congressional push for tax reform, House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.), has said publicly that "credit unions continue to play a very important role in communities across Michigan and our nation."
However, the Michigan Republican has also made it clear that all tax provisions are in play during tax reform--that he has started with a "blank page" approach and stakeholders must work their exemptions back into the tax code.
The banks say that approach, Politico noted, helps them in their fight against credit unions because each tax break has to be defended.
Use the resource link to see more on CUNA's "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign.