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Banks' 'concerned' citizens a no-show in S.D. tax-status fight
BISMARCK, N.D. (1/15/14)--While South Dakota banks continue to claim they are representing citizens "concerned" that the credit union tax status is unfair, citizens have yet to show up in support of banks' "tax equality" resolution, as credit unions and their members advocate on behalf of state cooperative financial institutions, the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas pointed out Tuesday.
 
On Monday, state credit unions fended off two more attempts by banks to persuade local boards to support an anti-credit union tax resolution (The Memo Jan. 14).
 
"Their entire 'awareness effort' is geared toward stirring up the masses to jump up and shout  'taxation fairness," said Jeff Olson, Credit Union Association of the Dakotas vice president of advocacy, told News Now. "There has yet to be one 'concerned citizen' who has shown up or spoken in support of this resolution at any of the 12 committees, commissions and councils where it has been considered."
 
The Vermillion School Board considered the South Dakota Bankers Association's "Equalization in Taxation" resolution, but did not take action during its meeting Monday. South Dakota credit unions were represented by Olson and Janet Mount, CEO of Vermillion (S.D.) FCU, who addressed the board.
 
Also, on Monday the Brookings School Board tabled the bankers' resolution for two months and will hear the issue in March. CUAD President/CEO Robbie Thompson attended the meeting, along with Dan Cumbee, president/CEO, and Chad Moller, branch manager, from Dakotaland FCU, Huron.
 
CUAD noted that as the South Dakota legislature reconvened Tuesday, no state school board, city council, county commission or chamber of commerce that has heard the banks' request to support the resolution has moved to have the legislature review the credit union tax status.
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