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News Now

Washington
On Tax Advocacy: 'Later May Be Too Late,' D.C. Insider Says
WASHINGTON (7/2/13)--It would be a great mistake for any group with an interest in tax issues "to simply shrug their shoulders, turn their back," and say tax reform is not going to happen in the immediate future, Washington lobbyist and QGA Public Affairs Chairman/Co-founder Jack Quinn told Politico this week.

"Later may be too late...You really want to begin shaping public opinion now," Quinn added in the Politico piece, refuting those who have questioned whether the U.S. Congress will stick to a tight tax reform schedule.

Quinn's comments reinforce Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney's recent request that credit union advocates ramp up their volume to protect the credit union tax status.

The leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), last week asked their Senate colleagues to be ready to tackle a tax reform vote early this fall. The committee plans to 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. All proposed language for a bill must be submitted for the committee's consideration by July 26.

In the face of these reform conversations, credit union and member tax advocacy efforts have remained strong. More than 230,000 separate congressional contacts have been made since mid-May, as citizens reach out to tell their legislators, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!"

The groundbreaking CUNA/state credit union league advocacy effort, Don't Tax My Credit Union, combines elements of traditional letter writing campaigns with new media methods to leverage the power of credit unions' 96 million members.

The outreach effort also continues to gain traction on social media: More than 300,000 credit union supporters have used the Don't Tax My Credit Union! Facebook page and their own Twitter feeds to share pro-credit union messages. CUNA's Twitter handle @CUNAadvocacy, and hashtag, #DontTaxMyCU, and social media micro-video site Vine have also seen heavy traffic.

CUNA also has developed a reformatted version of its tax advocacy toolkit to help credit unions and their members spread this message.

For more CUNA/league advocacy resources, use the resource links.
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