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Wisconsin CU League News Release - 08/31/10



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Statement by Wisconsin Credit Union League President & CEO Brett Thompson

Reaction to the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s press release regarding the Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board (a.k.a., “the Volcker Commission”) report that mentions the possibility of eliminating the federal credit union tax exemption as one among many possible policy options.

Pewaukee, Wis. – “There they go again. WBA is blatantly mischaracterizing information to suit its own anti-consumer agenda,” said Brett Thompson, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League. “The report, which is by an independent panel not tied to government despite its use of the term ‘Presidential’ in its name, merely states a list of options the government could pursue to reform tax law. The four lines WBA cites are not recommendations, they do not represent the views of the Obama Administration and they don’t address what tax policy decisions are in consumers’ best interests. WBA doesn’t mention that the report has at least six mentions of Subchapter S arrangements—arrangements often used by banks to reduce their tax obligation.”

“While banks have forever wished to heap more taxes on the already tax-burdened residents of Wisconsin who own credit unions, no one who sets public policy has ever deemed that a good move – and for good reason. I don’t believe for a second that the President or Congress wants to raise taxes on 92 million Americans in this manner considering the current economic climate.”

“What’s more, nothing about credit unions – the fact that they return earnings to their members and not outside investors – has changed. The bankers can insist this report is a policy recommendation, but wishing doesn’t make it so. Because of their member-ownership structure, Wisconsin credit unions return $200 million annually to their 2.2 million members in the form of better rates on savings and loans and lower and fewer fees. And preserving that here, and similar savings across the country, is in our nation’s best interest.”

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