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Tax Reform Group Backs CU Tax Status
WASHINGTON (6/14/13)--Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) President Grover Norquist has asked members of his group to take immediate action to urge lawmakers to "protect credit unions and all the good work they do" by opposing any punitive attempt to eliminate the credit union federal income tax exemption.

Click to view larger image Americans for Tax Reform has aided CUNA's advocacy efforts with a post on its own Facebook page. (Facebook/ATR photo)
This call created 6,200 contacts to the U.S. Congress. A posting with the same message on ATR's Facebook page, which is seen by more than 45,000 fans on the social networking site, has also seen significant traffic. The post has been shared more than 150 times and liked 252 times.

"Credit unions are superior to banks in many local communities because they are essentially owned by the customers, not a board of elites. It is because of financially achievable loans issued by credit unions that 96 million Americans are able to work towards the American Dream each day," Norquist wrote to ATR members, referring to the nationwide number of credit union members.

Increasing taxes on not-for-profit credit unions "would have dramatic consequences" for those millions of Americans that use their financial services, Norquist wrote in a recent communication to his group's supporters.

"Credit unions were established to help local communities...are often the only source of financing for disadvantaged communities" and "provide low cost credit alternatives to communities that are in dire need, but have no other means for obtaining loans," Norquist noted.

"Taking away their tax-exempt status will hinder their ability to help community members receive financial services," he said. Credit union loans help Americans start new businesses, go to school, purchase a car or help finance a home, he added.

The Credit Union National Association also has pointed out in its advocacy efforts that credit unions' not-for-profit financial cooperative structure differentiates them from banks and enables them to focus totally on member value and service, and, overall, prevents them from taking the types of risks banks take in the name of profits.

This difference in behavior creates substantial benefits for both credit union members and non-members as well, CUNA notes. Members benefit from lower rates on loans, lower fees on services, and higher returns on deposits. Credit unions' focus on exceptional service also keep competitive pressure on banks to the benefit of consumers.

CUNA and the leagues kicked off a large-scale, nationwide grassroots-mobilization campaign in mid-May to encourage credit union members nationwide to present a unified message to members of congress: Don't Tax My Credit Union! The innovative campaign combines traditional online email campaign methods with newer media vehicles such as Facebook, a Twitter handle @CUNAadvocacy, and hashtag, #DontTaxMyCU, and social media micro-video site Vine.

These efforts have led to more than 80,000 congressional contacts so far.

For more tax advocacy resources, use the links.

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