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MnCUN opposes bill to track tax cheats via FIs
ST. PAUL, Minn. (4/21/08)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) is opposing a state Revenue Department plan to enlist credit unions and other financial institutions in regularly checking their electronic member records to forward data on tax debtors to the state so it can collect its money. The Minnesota Revenue Department believes that it can collect an extra $10 million per year in outstanding taxes by employing the plan (Associated Press April 17). The provision is in the budget bill recommendations of Gov. Tim Pawlenty in both houses of the Minnesota legislature--House File 1812 and Senate File 3818. “Our concern is that this provision didn’t get vetted in the legislative committee process to look at privacy issues and liability issues to make sure that due process is in place,” Mara Humphrey, MnCUN vice president, governmental affairs, told News Now. “Minnesota credit unions are opposed to the Minnesota Department of Revenue's Data Match proposal because it places additional requirements on credit unions without adequate reimbursement," Humphrey continued. "Because this is a Minnesota-specific requirement and not a national program like child support, there will significant start-up costs," she said. "Credit unions also have significant data privacy, due process and liability concerns in regard to the proposed program.” The timing of the bill--it is to be implemented in July--is an issue as well, she added. The governor is hoping this program will help cut into the state’s $930 million budget deficit, she said.


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