The Independent Community Bankers of America said Friday that one of its three top priorities for the year will be ensuring that if credit unions are allowed to make more business loans, they pay taxes .
In a statement listing its legislative agenda, the trade association said it will strongly oppose “unwise legislation to considerably expand the commercial lending authority of tax-exempt credit unions.”
The statement added, “Meanwhile, federal budget deficits are forcing more lawmakers to concede ICBA’s position that the federal exemption for credit unions, particularly for large bank-like credit unions, is no longer justified.’’
John McKechnie, CUNA’s former top lobbyist who now lobbies on behalf of several credit union clients, said the ICBA’s position is not surprising, but nervy.
"It's a pretty tired agenda for the bank lobby when it comes to credit unions, although it is interesting that they seem unaware of their hypocrisy in pushing for new tax breaks for banks while advocating higher taxes for credit union members,’’ McKechnie wrote in an email.
Legislation that would raise the cap on member business loans from 12.25% of assets to as much as 27.5% has 111 cosponsors in the 435-member House and 21 cosponsors in the 100-member Senate.
Banks are pushing legislation that would give them regulatory and tax relief.
The trade group said its other priorities are housing finance reform and changes to the deposit insurance system for banks.