Dec. 21, 2012 – Credit unions must fight for preservation of their federal tax exemption as long as Congress is looking at deficit reduction and tax reform, and NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker reinforces that fact in an editorial published online by Credit Union Times.
Becker reminds readers of the bill introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., who has supported legislation friendly to credit unions in the past, that included the credit union exemption in a list of 29 tax expenditures flagged for elimination. That language came to light in mid-November, and NAFCU lobbyists contacted Ross’s office that day and secured assurance that the provision was in error and would be removed.
“The two biggest takeaways,” Becker says, “are when lawmakers involved in deficit reduction talks say ‘everything is on the table,’ they mean it, and the credit union industry must remain vigilant in its efforts to build on the support it has for the exemption."
Becker warns that credit unions cannot assume the exemption will always be there. “There is simply no way around the U.S. government’s fiscal issues without some pain being caused,” he says.
The NAFCU president calls on credit unions and their member-owners to personally contact their lawmakers and, using the economic study NAFCU released this September, educate them on the credit union exemption and the adverse impact its removal would have on consumers, federal revenues and the economy.
“Share findings from our study and talk about your own credit union’s role in its community. Get your members involved as well,” he says. “The greater the degree of credit union participation in the battle, the louder our collective voice will be – and the more assured the credit union industry will be of victory.”