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CUNA President & CEO Bill Cheney assesses the tax threat

 

Tax reform at the federal level is viewed as part of the long term solution to the fiscal troubles facing the federal government, and committees for both houses of Congress remain engaged in that process despite a government shut down that hampered the process. That's why credit unions must remain vigilant—and keep up efforts to protect their tax status.

ImageCUNA President & CEO Bill Cheney: "Please" & "Thank you!"

 

 

Direct your members to www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org, where they can watch our two minute video, educate themselves on both the value of the credit union tax exemption and the threat it faces, and take action to tell their legislators "Don’t Tax My Credit Union!" 

 

If you’ve already done so – and we know many have from the 1.25 million contacts generated since May – thank you, but please consider doing so again. Winning this fight demands a sustained education and communication effort to the 98 million credit union members we serve.

 

Thank you for all that you do every day to provide excellent and affordable financial services to your members, which ultimately is the best justification for credit unions' tax status!

 

  • In the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Chairman Max Baucus recently released three tax reform "staff discussion drafts." The three drafts addressed: (1) International Tax Reform; (2) Tax Administration; and (3) Capital Cost Recovery and Accounting. Each draft was released in legislative language. Two additional drafts may be released soon, but the topics are unknown at this time. Baucus has asked for comments and feedback from members of Congress, stakeholders, and the public on each discussion draft by January 17, 2014. 

 

  • In the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. Chairman David Camp recently announced he is not going to release a comprehensive bill before the end of the year, but will do so after the first of the year. Based on our conversations with Members of Congress and Hill staff, and on the fact that Members of the Ways and Means Committee have been briefed on the legislation since September, we believe multiple comprehensive proposals have been drafted and could be released without much delay once the decision is made to move forward.

 

As we look into 2014, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. If the Budget conference committee is able to reach an agreement on spending for the next year or two, they may include instructions to the tax writing committees. And even if they don't, if Congress is able to delay the next round of talks over spending and the debt ceiling until late 2014 or beyond, it could provide tax writers enough breathing room to make progress on tax reform in 2014. They will have some additional incentive to do so because several federal tax credits, known as "extenders," are expected to lapse at the end of the year. Congress can extend these retroactively in 2014, but both Baucus and Camp have indicated that there is a preference to address these provisions in tax reform.

 

We expect 2014 to be very active on the tax reform front, notwithstanding the fact that it is an election year, because so much groundwork has been laid on this issue throughout this year. The continued engagement of credit union activists will be critical to our success. As senior Ways & Means Committee Member Rep. John Larson (D-CT) noted in a video interview with the Credit Union League of Connecticut last week, "vigilance is eternal." 

 

Fortunately, remaining vigilant is as simple as educating and reminding your members of the incredible value they receive as member-owners of their credit union. Research and experience have shown over and over again how even members who are unaware of their credit union’s not-for-profit and corporate-tax exempt structure still appreciate the low-cost, service-oriented financial services they receive. It doesn’t take much additional information to convert those credit union members into credit union advocates.

 

Best regards, 

 

Bill Cheney
President/CEO
Credit Union National Association


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