WASHINGTON-In response to the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the credit union tax-exemption, CUNA and NAFCU are taking their message to the airwaves and Capitol Hill publications that taxing credit unions levies a tax on 87 million credit union members. "Once you know the facts about America's credit unions, it's easy to understand why U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow supports credit unions' tax-exempt status," the print advertisement, under the auspices of America's Credit Unions, in Roll Call, CQ, The Hill and others reads. It continues with Snow's remark from CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference a couple years ago, "I understand that you are for service and not profit.which is the fundamental reason why this talk of taxation of your industry, and what you do, is something we oppose." America's Credit Unions is also airing an advertisement on a handful of Washington, D.C. area radio stations. A woman's voice asks, "Why do 87 million Americans love their credit union?" and goes on to list services, fees, and other reasons. "Now some in Congress want to raise taxes on America's eighty-seven million credit union members. That would be wrong," the ad states. In addition, CUNA has put together another Straight to the Point outlining what the group terms as the bankers' myths and hypocrisy, according to CUNA Senior Vice President of Political Action Richard Gose. He added that a copious number of letters and phone calls to members of Congress have been orchestrated by CUNA. NAFCU is encouraging contact with legislative representatives from a number of organizations outside the credit union community. A letter from The Military Coalition, a group of dozens of uniformed services and veterans organizations, expressed its "strong, unequivocal support for our nation's credit unions and urge the Committee not to change the federal tax-exemption for credit unions." "There are approximately 250 defense credit unions, including some of the world's largest, that provide low-cost, financial services to service members and families around the world," the group wrote. "These defense credit unions provide financial education, competitive rates, and financial opportunities (such as low minimum balance savings accounts, no or low service fees, and low cost loans) to those who would otherwise be forced to "predatory" or "payday" lenders." Additionally, the Consumer Federation of America Executive Director Stephen Brobeck has written committee members, stating, "The Consumer Federation of America is puzzled that any policymakers are seriously considering taxing credit unions. Our current financial services system functions as effectively as it does in no small measure because of the existence of these non-profit financial service providers." Credit unions not only provide services at better costs, but also reign in "anti-consumer bank practices," the letter read. Large CUs Band Together for USA Today Ad Five large credit unions also took it upon themselves to purchase a full-page advertisement in the Nov. 2 USA Today to defend the credit union tax-exemption. The ad, sponsored by State Employees Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Orange County Teachers Federal Credit Union, BECU, and American Airlines Credit Union, is headlined "Credit Unions Share a Value." It reads in part, "[Credit unions] serve the financial needs of the armed forces, state and federal government workers, police, firefighters, teachers, airline and aerospace workers, you and your neighbors. "Congress is studying whether or not credit unions should be allowed to maintain their tax-exempt status. "If America's credit unions were taxed, over 87 million Americans will pay higher loan rates and receive less interest on their deposits." The ad then asks people to write their representatives to express their opinion. -email@example.com
CUNA and NAFCU Bombard Capitol Hill with Ads in Support of Tax-Exemption
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