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Senate Finance Committee cites credit unions for possible tax status elimination


Credit unions' tax exemption is included among other possible tax preferences that might be considered for elimination as part of a Senate Finance Committee "tax options" paper released Thursday. CUNA called the paper a "wake up call for action" and urges every credit union to engage its staff, directors and members in contacting Congress with the message, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!" CUNA has stated that millions of contacts to Congress may be needed to preserve the credit union tax status that returns $8 billion annually to American consumers.Image

 

Congressional tax reform discussions are taking place right now and credit unions are competing to be heard with more than 400 other groups looking to protect their own tax status.

 

"Unless our voices rise above the rest, 96 million credit union members nationwide – including 2.4 million in Wisconsin – will lose the benefits they deserve," explains League VP of Government Affairs Tom Liebe.

 

CUNA and the leagues are asking every Wisconsin credit union to:

  • Educate staff, boards and members about the valuable services and rates credit unions are able to provide because of their cooperative structure and tax status.

 

  • Give members a chance to stand up for their credit union using materials provided by The League, CUNA and at www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org Sample materials include email and letter text, talking points, a press release, newsletter articles, web graphics, statement stuffers, posters, drive-up envelopes, t-shirts, mobile apps and social media resources.

 

  • Schedule in-district visits with your members of Congress during their summer recess and during listening sessions throughout the year. This will be great follow up to Activists' visit to Washington, D.C. as part of our tax advocacy Hike June 18.

 

"While we've been sharing for years the value the credit union tax exemption offers consumers and communities, we have never faced a threat as serious as the current complete tax overhaul being contemplated in Congress," Liebe emphasizes. "We can protect our tax status by standing up and taking action or we can lose it."

Although a majority of American voters – around 86% - aren't aware of our tax exemption or its direct link to the tremendous benefits consumers receive through their credit union membership, research shows that members only need a modest amount of education to motivate them to advocate on our behalf.

 

All credit unions should begin making Congressional contacts now, while continuing to educate employees, volunteers and members and urge their engagement. Share CUNA's public website www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org, which has a video that explains the threat to credit unions and has a link to email Members of Congress. The League's Tax Advocacy Resource page can help expand your efforts.

 

This will be a long-term process requiring repeat contacts to Congress as the situation develops. The League will provide additional resources as messaging evolves.


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