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Date set for oral arguments in N.Y. mortgage tax case
WASHINGTON (2/25/10)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the Credit Union Association of New York (CUANY) have learned that oral arguments for Hudson Valley FCU's challenge against a New York State tax requirement on credit union mortgage loans will be March 25. "This will be the first opportunity for the parties to make their arguments and may result in some indication of the judge's reaction to some of the issues in the case," CUNA General Counsel Eric Richard told News Now. CUNA and CUANY have filed a joint amicus curiae brief in the case brought by the Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based credit union before the Supreme Court for New York County, which is a trial-level court located in Manhattan. The trade associations filed the brief in order to take a stand to defend the right of federal credit unions in New York to claim their tax-exempt status from state and local taxes within the context of the Federal Credit Union Act, according to CUNA. The credit union is suing to declare that its mortgages are exempt from the state's mortgage recording tax, which is used by New York as a general revenue collecting mechanism (as opposed to a fee to cover just the cost of operating the state's mortgage recording office, like in most states). The state claims that the federal credit unions must pay the recording tax based on arguments such as that federal credit unions are not federal instrumentalities and that the tax is a "privilege tax" (for the so-called "privilege" of recording a mortgage) that is paid "voluntarily." Hudson Valley FCU has paid nearly $3 million in Mortgage Recording Tax to New York on “no closing cost” loans which it made to members, according to a recent letter to the editor of Origination News (Feb. 1) written by the credit union's President/CEO Mary Madden. The oral arguments will pertain to the state's motion to dismiss the case and the credit union's counter motion for a summary judgment. Attorneys in the case have posted a news alert outlining the history and the issues to increase awareness and support for the case among other New York-based credit unions. To access the news alert, use the resource link.
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