Majority of Texas Congressional Delegation Support Credit Union Tax Exemption
AUSTIN, Texas-The bulk of Texas' 32 U.S. Representatives in Congress have expressed their support of credit unions' tax-exempt status to the Texas Credit Union League. The league has put together the "What is YOUR Member of Congress Saying about Protecting Credit Unions?" publication from these statements and is encouraging credit unions to use the quotes in their newsletters. "We have a duty to let our members know where their Congressional representative stand on taxing credit unions, since a tax on credit unions is a tax on our members," TCUL President and CEO Dick Ensweiler said. Here is some of what the members of Congress had to say: House Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R), 22nd District, "I am supportive of Americans' right to voluntarily pool their resources for their own benefit and not be taxed on such an effort. Credit unions embody this principle, and I firmly support the principle of their tax-exempt status." Joe Barton (R), 6th District, "As deregulation increases the competition between credit unions and banks, it is important for these non-profit, volunteer driven cooperatives to focus on their primary services, including small loans, financial counseling and low balance share drafts. I believe both credit unions and banks have a place in serving the financial needs of Americans." Henry Bonilla (R), 23rd District, "Since first seeking public office in 1990 I have opposed any increase in taxes, and have stood beside that pledge on numerous occasions. I support the continuation of tax-exempt status of credit unions, and pledge to continue to fight the increased taxation of America. I have always supported the founding values of credit unions and the communities they serve, and look forward to working with them in the future." Lloyd Doggett (D), 10th District, "Having worked with credit unions for more than three decades, I recognize the importance of the financial services that you offer to millions of individuals and large numbers of small businesses. By granting credit unions a tax exemption in the 1930's, Congress acknowledged the contribution of credit unions to our society, particularly in providing opportunities to low- and moderate income Americans. Today, as credit unions continue to meet these credit and savings needs, their tax exempt status should be maintained." John Culberson (R), 7th District, "Throughout my fourteen years in the Texas State House and my two terms in Congress, I have always maintained a very supportive and cooperative relationship with the Texas Credit Union League. Credit unions were designed to be depository institutions, run by their members for the benefit of their members. As a tax-exempt organization, credit unions are tailored to meet the financial needs of their members. I strongly support the efforts of our credit unions, and will continue to work to keep credit unions exempt from federal income taxes." Michael C. Burgess (R), 26th District, "Because of this unique member-owned cooperative nature, credit unions are exempt from the federal corporate income tax and the regulatory requirements imposed by the Community Reinvestment Act. I support this continued exemption...please be assured that I will work to ensure that not-for-profit credit unions retain their federal tax-exempt status." Kevin Brady (R), 8th District, "I believe that credit unions play an important role in our communities and are major contributors to the national economy, the financial system and the communities they enter and the members and families they serve. They provide lending opportunities to small businesses, families and many hard working Americans that would not otherwise be available. For these reasons, I strongly support the tax-exempt status of credit unions because they serve as not-for-profit banks." Jeb Hensarling (R), 5th District, "Credit unions provide valuable services for nearly 85 million Americans. As member-owned financial cooperatives, they enjoy a unique status among financial institutions, including being exempt from federal income taxes. I believe imposing new taxes on credit unions at this time would only weaken their ability to effectively meet the financial needs of their services. That is why I strongly support maintaining their current tax exempt status." Gene Green (D), 29th District, "I fully support maintaining the tax exempt status of not-for-profit credit unions...I appreciate the contributions credit unions make to our financial system. The work credit unions do to provide loans at competitive interest rates to working families, small business, and workers that do not have easy access to credit is important to our economic growth. Many of these individuals would not otherwise have these opportunities...Please be assured I support maintaining tax-exempt status for not-for-profit credit unions." Kay Granger (R), 12th District, "You will be pleased to know that I am firmly against the taxation of credit unions. These institutions operate as not-for-profit, democratic, financial cooperatives, owned by the members themselves. They have enjoyed tax-exempt status since their beginning in the 1920s. Credit unions benefit all Americans by increasing competition in the marketplace, keeping interest rates at banks and savings & loans lower. If credit unions were suddenly forced to pay federal taxes, American consumers would suffer as a result." Charles A. Gonzalez (D), 20th District, "I wish to express my support for maintaining the tax exempt status of America's credit unions. Credit unions throughout our nation's history have served an important mission of ensuring that working families have access to financial services and capital. As long as credit unions maintain that as their core mission I support continuing their long-standing tax exempt status." Charles Stenholm (D), 17th District, "I am writing to express my support for the role credit unions have played in America's financial sector...the U.S. Congress recognized the unique structure and purpose of credit unions and granted them federal income tax exemption similar to other cooperative depository institutions. I strongly support this tax exemption for credit unions that stay true to their original mission and purpose. During the 108th Congress, I have consistently supported legislation which would benefit credit unions...rest assured that I will work with you so that credit unions continue to meet the financial needs of underserved Americans across the nation."