Tax on CUs Would Forever Alter Industry Motives, Navy's Dawson Says
WASHINGTON-Navy Federal Credit Union President and CEO Cutler Dawson told the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform that a tax on credit unions is a tax on those who can least afford it. In fact, his March 16 comment letter stated, "One of the primary goals of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform should be to reinforce the intent of Congress to exempt credit unions from federal income taxes." Dawson said that Navy Federal Credit Union "embraces the role of credit unions as specified by Congress" and "loss of our tax exemption would change the nature of not-for-profit credit unions and eliminate their public purpose as envisioned by Congress." He argued that taxation would lead to pressure from credit unions to push for access to the capital markets, driving them toward "profit-motivated interests." "Any taxes imposed on credit unions must be passed directly to their members in the form of lower savings rates, higher borrowing rates, or higher fees," Dawson explained. "Taxation would also increase the pressure on credit union managers to eliminate free and unprofitable services. Subject to such pressures would be small loans, financing, counseling, small share draft accounts and loan rebates. Today, more than 84 million Americans receive financial services from 9,000 credit unions nationwide. Many of these credit union members are low-and moderate-income persons who can least afford tax increases passed to them through the increased cost of essential financial services. These are the working Americans whom tax reform is supposed to benefit."