Posted on July 17, 2013
As our local and national news are reporting, the news coming out of Washington is continued sabre shaking about how to balance our budget, how to collect more taxes from not only business but from taxpayers. As you have heard there is a great deal of talk with support, to overhaul our entire federal tax code. What would this mean for not only for you, your credit union, but the credit union industry as a whole?
A little background………
The 1934 Federal Credit Union Act (FCUA) stated credit unions receive a tax exemption because “credit unions are mutual or cooperative organizations operated entirely by and for their members.” Credit unions are eligible for tax-exempt status if they meet the following criteria:
- Operating on a not for profit basis
- Organized without capital stock
- Operating for mutual purposes
Credit Union’s tax exempt status has been challenged for decades by the banking industry. In 1998, as part of the findings of the Credit Union Membership Access Act (P.L. 105-219), Congress found that, “Credit unions, unlike many other participants in the financial services market, are exempt from Federal and most State taxes because they are member owned, democratically operated, not for profit organizations, generally managed by a volunteer Board of Directors, and because they have the specified mission of meeting the credit and savings needs of consumers, especially persons of modest means.”
As a member, you know that First Class American Credit Union is owned and directed by you. Unlike banks that maximize profits for a small group of investors, credit unions exist to serve their members, including working families, small businesses, and the local community. Because we return benefits to our members, we are able to offer higher returns on savings, lower rate on loans, and most importantly, low or no fees. That’s why your credit union is not-for-profit and tax exempt.
Now banks and some politicians in Washington are talking about taxing credit unions like First Class American Credit Union, despite the fact that we are not-for-profit. They say we can balance the budget by taxing credit unions, even though credit unions hold only 6% of all financial assets nationwide, and banks hold the rest.
Since credit unions are not-for-profit, taxing credit unions could even destroy credit unions as we know them, eliminating financial choice for consumers.
Moreover, taxing credit unions won’t even scratch our budget deficit. For every $1 in new taxes on credit unions, the government would wipe out $10 in benefits to credit union members and consumers. So taxing credit unions is not only bad for our nation’s economy, a tax on credit unions is really just a tax on you, the member.
That’s why I am writing to urge you to send a strong message to Congress: “Don’t Tax My Credit Union.”
It’s easy to take action: just visit www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators. While there, you can also watch a video, follow our campaign on social media, and learn more about how you can help us tell Congress, “Don’t Tax My Credit Union!”
Take part in our campaign! Don’t Tax My Credit Union!
Nancy M. Croix-Stroud, President/CEO
**Originally posted from First Class American Credit Union’s Web Blog