May 25, 2023

Berger: CUs exemplify responsibility of tax exemption

IRSNAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger wrote an op-ed for CUInsight explaining that the credit union tax exemption exists “because the industry earned it for their unwavering dedication to serving their members and communities.” Additionally, he highlighted the tax exemption maintains bipartispan support and “Congress should be proud for upholding this legislation for nearly 90 years and for backing an industry that, without fail, continues to put people over profits.”

In the op-ed, Berger pointed out that the tax exemption is a choice. “Credit unions choose to be tax exempt. With that choice comes responsibility: the responsibility to provide consumers with safe, secure, and reliable financial services at an affordable cost,” he wrote. “Credit unions have continued to live up to that mission."

He noted banks continue to close roughly 200 branches per month, while credit union branches have increased. Berger added that small business loans from credit unions have increased 500 percent since 2007. In that same period, small business loans from banks have remained flat.

He also discredited recent banker attacks against the credit union tax exemption.

“The tax exemption argument isn’t even an argument. It’s a tactic bankers use to try and stifle competition. If credit unions have such a competitive advantage with this tax exemption, then why haven’t banks changed their own charters to those of credit unions? Simple. They don’t want the responsibility.”

Read the full op-ed.

Of note, NAFCU Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Greg Mesack wrote to Congress recently on the credit union tax exemption. In the letter, Mesack highlighted the success of the legislation and how credit unions use the exemption “to reach out in areas banks couldn’t and serve those that banks wouldn’t.”

NAFCU will continue to advocate for the long-standing credit union tax exemption and highlight the credit union difference.