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CUNA punches back at bank attacks
WASHINGTON (2/4/13)--The Credit Union National Association continues its one-two punch against bank attacks targeting the credit union tax status.

As reported, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney has had at least 20 recent meetings with federal lawmakers underscoring the public policy reasons for the credit union tax-exemption mandated by the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934.

And last week, CUNA Executive Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill refuted bank attempts to tie together the issue of increased member business lending for credit unions with the separate issue of tax status.

In a recent article in Politico titled "The never-ending feud: Banks vs. credit unions," which focused primarily on bank rhetoric against increased MBLS, Magill said, "When they start talking about our tax exemption, they're changing the subject. They've run out of arguments opposed to the member business lending."

"They know they can't defeat us on the policy argument so they talk about tax exemption, trying to put us in a position to defend that."

He added, "The fact of the matter is, we don't believe Congress has an appetite to tax 95 million Americans, which is exactly what would happen if Congress were to tax credit unions. It's simply a tax on Americans."

As CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney noted in last week's "Cheney Report," CUNA will be emphasizing repeatedly on Capitol Hill in the months to come, including during CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference Hill visits in February, how it is the credit union member who would be harmed most by the banks' push to increase taxes on credit unions.

Under the Federal Credit Union Act, federal and state-chartered credit unions are exempt from federal income tax because they are cooperatives operated for and by their members, and because credit union shares are essentially members' deposits. The tax status has been re-affirmed periodically by the U.S. Congress and is supported by many lawmakers.
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