WASHINGTON (11/7/13)--Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who heads the Senate Finance Committee and is a key figure in the country's current tax policy debates, said he is planning to release the first in a series of tax reform discussion drafts very soon, Politico recently reported.
"Tax policy writers on Capitol Hill have made it clear since the summer that they intend to be ready to tackle a tax reform vote early this fall," Ryan Donovan said about the news. "This is the start on the Senate side."
Two Baucus aides told the publication that the first discussion draft could address reform of the international tax system. Baucus, along with the U.S. House's key tax policy figure, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), have taken a "blank slate" approach to reform legislation. That approach removes all tax expenditures from the code and would add back in those that make the grade.
In the midst of this tax reform effort, credit unions and their members are using Credit Union National Association and state credit union leagues' resources, social media sites including Facebook, and micro-video site Vine, to tell their legislators, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!"
Credit union and member tax advocacy efforts have remained strong. Almost 1.2 million separate congressional contacts have been made since mid-May to support credit unions in the tax talks.
"Credit unions, credit union members--all credit union supporters--must continue to advocate for the current credit union federal tax status, which exempts them only from federal income tax," Donovan said. Credit unions are assigned that tax status because they are not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives.
"Congress must continue to hear--so lawmakers truly understand--that a new tax on credit unions would be a tax on their 97 million members," Donovan said.
CUNA research indicates that credit unions generally 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 American consumers.