FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Patrick Keefe - CUNA Communications; (202) 508-6765; firstname.lastname@example.org
CUNA, Leagues urge credit unions to go to their members to preserve tax exemption
WASHINGTON, DC (05/15/2013) - "Don't tax my credit union" is the rallying cry of a large-scale, nationwide grassroots-mobilization campaign urging America's 96 million credit union members to deliver a united message to the Congress, launched by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), the nation's largest credit union trade group.
CUNA and its affiliated 50 state credit union leagues are launching the campaign at a time when the US House and Senate have made broad-based tax reform a major priority. The initiative will urge lawmakers as part of any final tax reform plan to preserve the federal tax exemption credit unions receive as not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives.
"Policy is being formulated on Capitol Hill now, so we must act now. We can't wait," said CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney. "It's rare that credit unions call upon their 96 million members to take action, but our members will be the best spokespeople we have, especially on an issue as vital to our future as this."
The campaign will emphasize that any tax on credit unions is really a tax on its members since credit unions are cooperatively owned by the people they serve. If credit unions were taxed, their benefits to members and communities will be lost, and a consumer-friendly option in the financial marketplace will vanish.
"We've got to take action on a large scale," said Cheney. "This is about more than just the commercial banks that want to see us taxed. We're vying with some 400 other organizations and industries that see their own tax status threatened. There will be a great deal of noise on Capitol Hill. We've got to be sure our voice is clearly heard. If we delay, it will be too late."
The "Don't Tax My Credit Union" campaign will employ direct communication from credit unions to their members and supporters as well as web-based and social media channels in order to convey a powerful and sustained message to Congress. Elements include:
- A nationwide action alert sent this week by CUNA and leagues to their nearly 7,000 affiliated state and federally chartered credit unions, urging them to engage their consumer-members on this issue and directing them to a range of new resources.
- A new web site, DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org, where people can learn about the issue and send an email message directly to their members of Congress.
- A short animated video, posted on DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org and on social media, to help consumers understand the issue and what's at stake for them.
- Engagement of influential third-party coalition members that recognize credit unions' tax status is good public policy that benefits consumers and society as a whole.
- A national webinar for credit union executives, to be held Wednesday, May 22 at 3:00 p.m., ET, where CUNA will fully outline the issues, strategy, and required actions;
- Creation of the Twitter handle @CUNAadvocacy and hash tag #DontTaxMyCU to engage the press and public via social media.
- A reformatted version of CUNA's tax advocacy tool kit on www.cuna.org, with resource materials for credit unions and leagues.
- "Our research shows that informed members are ready to stand with us in this battle," Cheney said. "We have a great opportunity to unite for the good of our members. If Congress taxes credit unions, they'll take away the best financial option from America's consumers. We won't allow that to happen."
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With its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) serves America's 6,900 state and federally chartered credit unions, which are owned by more than 96 million consumer members. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives providing affordable financial services to people from all walks of life. For more information about CUNA, visit www.cuna.org or follow @CUNA on Twitter. For more information about credit unions, visit www.aSmarterChoice.org and follow @asmarterchoice on Twitter.