South Dakota credit unions are rallying to turn back an attempt by state banks to change the credit union tax status.
On Tuesday, South Dakota’s Brookings County Commission will vote on a resolution that supports taking the tax-exempt status away from credit unions and farm credit services.
South Dakota banks claim that they have met with U.S. Sen. John Thune (R) and that Thune supports the measure, said the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (Memo Nov. 13). Thune is a member of a Senate Tax and Finance sub-committee that will help draft tax reform.
"Unfortunately we continue to see banker attacks on our tax status at the state level just as in Washington,” said Trey Hawkins, Credit Union National Association vice president of political affairs. “CUNA is committed to working with CUAD and South Dakota in any way we can to help beat this latest tax threat back.”
CUAD is committed to rallying the troops and telling the credit union story, Jeff Olson, CUAD vice president of advocacy and awareness, wrote in the association’s newsletter.
“All of the banks’ rallying points are based on the typical hollow arguments,” Olson told News Now Wednesday. “For every argument they make we have a rebuttal. We just want a chance to tell our side of the story. We think our arguments will prevail.”
CUAD coordinated a state-wide conference call Monday to roll out a response strategy.
Dakotaland Federal Credit Union, Huron, has requested rebuttal time on the commission’s agenda Tuesday. Members of the CUAD advocacy department also will be prepared to respond.
The league has contacted a reporter who wrote an article about the hearing. CUAD secured a rebuttal article near the date of the commission meeting, regardless outcome of the vote.
CUAD also is preparing collateral materials to be sent to each commissioner this week.
The league also asked the state’s credit unions to fill the commission hearing room with supporters as well as credit union staff and members in the Brookings County area to contact commissioners. A postcard drop will be delivered on Monday.
CUAD also asked credit unions across the state to be on the lookout for similar resolutions on their local city and county commission agendas.
CUAD has placed a radio media buy in the Brookings market to counter bank radio ads.