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CUs Push Against Banks Via CUNA's 'Don't Tax' Message
MADISON, Wis. (9/20/13)--Credit unions are pushing back against banks' taxation arguments by using the Credit Union National Association's "Don't Tax My Credit Union" message in media, in tweets, and in visits with members of Congress.
 
Credit unions continue to meet with members of Congress to advocate for preserving credit unions' tax status. Shown with U.S. Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pa.) Tuesday in Allentown, Pa., are Pennsylvania credit unions (Life is a Highway Sept. 18). From left: Alan Musselman, First Commonwealth FCU and member of Pennsylvania Credit Union Association's Governmental Affairs Committee; Nate Muniz, PSECU; Dent; John Miller, First Commonwealth FCU; and Ed Williams, Discovery FCU and a Credit Union National Association Board director. They discussed taxation, credit union service, GSR reform and the growing scope and cost of regulation. (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association)
Tweets to members of Congress through CUNA's plug-in tool at DTMCU.org, which was launched on Don't Tax Tuesday II, Sept. 10, have totaled 12,000, including the 5,000 messages tweeted that day by credit union members and credit unions that day.
 
The Don't Tax message continues to resonate with legislators, with the list of lawmakers supporting credit unions and their tax status growing. The latest to support credit unions' tax status in U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) (See related News Now story, Rep. Larson Pledges His Continued Protection Of CU Tax Status.)
 
CUNA's Don't Tax campaign is also featured extensively in an article in MintPressNews.com (Sept. 19) about banks' efforts to eliminate credit unions' tax status.
 
"Cooperatively run credit unions used by 96 million Americans could lose their tax exempt status if Congress approves a proposal from big banks to tax the not-for-profit financial institutions," said the first paragraph of the article. It points out that the $13 trillion U.S. banking industry, which controls 94% of financial assets in the U.S., is behind the attacks.
 
Paul Gentile, CUNA executive vice president of strategic communications and engagement, told MintPress.Com that bankers' arguments that credit unions have morphed out of their mission are "nonsensical.  We are all of a sudden not allowed to offer services to our members? They offer checking accounts, we offer checking accounts. They offer mortgages, we offer mortgages. The difference is that we don't offer complex, mega million commercial loans. We are here to serve our members."
 
The tax status is "not an issue except for the bankers," said Gentile. "There is not one member of Congress who has talked openly about supporting the taxation. Banks have been pushing this for the past 30 years. We give back about $8 billion a year in benefits. Credit unions charge fewer and lower fees; it's been like that forever."
 
Meanwhile, credit unions continue to visit with members of Congress, take opportunities at public meetings, and continue letter writing initiatives and more, to drive home the message: Don't Tax My Credit Union.
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