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CUs', Members' Action Strong As Tax Reform Enters Next Phase
WASHINGTON (6/18/13)--Tax advocacy efforts by credit unions and their members have remained strong as the U.S. Congress prepares to draft comprehensive reform legislation in the coming weeks, with more than 100,000 separate congressional contacts being made to tell their legislators, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!"

"Tax reform is alive and well on Capitol Hill. The credit union tax status is in the mix, and credit unions need to remain aware and active to protect their tax status," Credit Union National Association Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said.

The last in a series of tax reform options papers is expected to be released later this week. A tax options paper on exempt organizations and charitable giving released last week included two options of particular interest to credit unions: The paper mentioned that one option for tax reform could be to "disallow tax-exempt status for certain organizations engaged in business activities, such as credit unions, nonprofit hospitals or certain types of insurance." The report also includes a discussion of options to expand Unrelated Business Income Tax.

With these and other papers having been released and discussed by the Senate Finance Committee, the process can move on to the next phase of writing new tax laws. Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chair of the Senate's powerful tax-policy committee and leader of the Joint Committee on Taxation, is calling for the tax reforms to be finalized and introduced before the August recess, Donovan noted.

The groundbreaking CUNA/state credit union league advocacy effort, which combines elements of traditional letter writing campaigns with new media methods to leverage the power of credit unions' 96 million members, continues to gain traction on social media: The Don't Tax My Credit Union! Facebook page has been viewed more than 265,000 times since mid-May. Pro-credit union messages have been widely shared through CUNA's Twitter handle @CUNAadvocacy, and hashtag, #DontTaxMyCU, and social media micro-video site Vine.

CUNA has also 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.

This week, the House is scheduled to consider the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (H.R. 1947). The Senate is expected to consider judicial nominations and immigration reform.

Hearings on today's schedule include:

  • A House Financial Services financial institutions and consumer credit subcommittee hearing entitled "Examining How the Dodd-Frank Act Hampers Home Ownership." Alaska USA FCU Chief Lending Officer Jerry Reed will testify on CUNA's behalf at this hearing (For more, see today's story: QM Concerns Are Focus of CUNA Hill Testimony Today);
  • A House Financial Services oversight and investigations subcommittee hearing on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau budget; and
  • A Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs housing, transportation and community development subcommittee hearing on reverse mortgages and their impact on the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund.
The House Financial Services Committee has also set a Wednesday markup session for the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act (H.R. 1105), the Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act (H.R. 1135), the Audit Integrity and Job Protection Act (H.R. 1564) and H.R. 2374, to amend Section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

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