The report from President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board that mentioned taxing credit unions has sparked a flare up in the ongoing fight between banks and credit unions in Wisconsin.
Kurt R. Bauer, CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association quoted the Aug. 31 report and said "taxpaying financial institutions that face aggressive competition from profit-driven credit unions applaud and endorse PERAB's recommendation to level the playing field."
Bauer noted that there are now six credit unions in Wisconsin over $1 billion in total assets making them larger than 95 percent of the state's taxpaying banks. "With local, state and federal governments all facing serious budgetary emergencies, the largest and most profit-driven credit unions can and should pay their fair share of the tax burden."
This drew a press release from Brett Thompson, CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League.
"There they go again. WBA is blatantly mischaracterizing information to suit its own anti-consumer agenda," said Thompson. "The report, which is by an independent panel not tied to government despite its use of the term 'Presidential' in its name, merely states a list of options the government could pursue to reform tax law. The four lines WBA cites are not recommendations, they do not represent the views of the Obama Administration and they don't address what tax policy decisions are in consumers' best interests. WBA doesn't mention that the report has at least six mentions of Subchapter S arrangements--arrangements often used by banks to reduce their tax obligation."
"While banks have forever wished to heap more taxes on the already tax-burdened residents of Wisconsin who own credit unions, no one who sets public policy has ever deemed that a good move - and for good reason. I don't believe for a second that the President or Congress wants to raise taxes on 92 million Americans in this manner considering the current economic climate," Thompson added.