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NEW: Baucus, Hatch Announce 'Blank Slate' Tax Reform; CUNA, Leagues Ready to Fight
WASHINGTON (6/27/13, UPDATED 12:12 p.m. ET)--The leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), sent a letter to all their Senate colleagues today advising them to plan to be ready to tackle a tax reform vote early this Fall.

The letter notes that the committee will take a "blank slate" approach to its bill, which would remove all tax expenditures from the code and would add back in those that make the grade.

"Our tax code is bloated and outdated.  The income tax was established a century ago, in 1913.  And it has been a generation since our last tax reform in 1986.  As Chairman and Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, we are determined to complete tax reform this Congress," Baucus and Hatch pen in their "dear colleague" letter.

The senators' letters warns there is a tight timeframe for lawmakers who want to suggest language for the reforms; all proposed language for a bill must be submitted for the committee's consideration by July 26, it says.

"This is the scenario we have told credit unions to expect and it is the timing we have anticipated," said CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney. "CUNA and the leagues launched our groundbreaking 'Don't Tax My Credit Union' campaign over a month ago to defend this threat.

"Our success will rest on credit unions engaging their members to send Congress a strong message: Don't Tax My Credit Union."

Cheney noted that credit unions offer higher returns on savings, lower rates on loans, and most importantly, low or no fees--and that these benefits combine to result in more than $8 billion in direct financial benefits each year to the 96 million Americans who belong to credit unions.

Already, there have been more than 170,000 visits to the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" site and 165,000 messages have been sent to the House and Senate. Some 300,000 people have also shown support for the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign via social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. 

"That can only be a beginning to the voices Congress hears so lawmakers truly understand that a new tax on credit unions would be a tax on those 96 million credit unions members," Cheney said.


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