HOBOKEN, N.J. -- The battle of credit unions against taxes isn't just today's news. Five years ago the rallying of Iowa CUs against a bill to raise taxes made headlines.
More than 1,000 credit union members from across the state of Iowa gathered at the state capitol in protest of the tax increase bills, HF 388 and SF 242. Despite the fact that the rally drew attention and sent a strong message to legislators, both bills were moved forward.
Meanwhile, in New Mexico two banker-backed tax bills were shelved by legislators, making front-page news alongside the Iowa rally.
In Nevada, credit unions were gearing up for a legislative push by the Nevada Bankers Association for a tax on CUs. At the time, Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn expressed his support for CUs. In the article (CU Times, March 19, 2003) Tony Mook, then chairman of the Nevada Credit Union League and president of Cumorah Credit Union of Las Vegas said, "We had a 60-minute meeting with the governor and his aides Feb. 5 at which he told us that, as nonprofits, we would be excluded from any business tax bill his office put forth."
Other front page news included an e-mail CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica sent out to CUNA members reiterating its support of private deposit insurance and criticizing NAFCU supported and Consumer Federation of America's adopted policy for federal primary insurance exclusively. The issue of private deposit insurance in lieu of federal primary insurance divided the credit union movement. In the same issue, Credit Union Times ran the results of a poll on the topic and found that approximately 50% were against NAFCU's position, with 48% for it and 1% unsure. Mica's position was that NAFCU should have initiated a more complete discussion within the credit union movement before taking a stance on the issue before the CFA.
Controversy surrounded the purchase offer from Concord EFS, a for-profit firm based in Memphis, Tenn., to Credit Union 24 when the CUSO withdrew from the offer. At the time, rumors had been circulating that Concord EFS was putting itself up for sale. Concord EFS's letter of intent expired after 60 days, and a Credit Union 24 announcement said that it was terminating the letter of intent for the "best interest of the company" rounded out the front-page news.