A member of the House Ways & Means Committee is the latest to come out in support of the credit union tax exemption.
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) put her support in writing in an editorial piece for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ magazine, Credit Union Digest.
The CCUL said Monday its legislative advocacy team has been working with Sanchez, a member of the key House panel that will write any new tax bill.
In the piece, Sanchez notes that she still has her first “bank book” from the credit union account she opened at the age of 16.
“As a longtime credit union member, I understand the very special role credit unions play in our communities. Credit unions make it possible for small businesses to expand their operations and hire more employees. Credit unions make it possible for students to pursue higher education,” Sanchez wrote.
“I am fortunate to represent 158,000 credit union members in California’s 38th Congressional District,” the Orange County Democrat wrote. “These members include teachers, janitors, firefighters, and military personnel—the people who are the glue holding our communities together.”
And she said that while the tax code needs overhauled, “We need to reform our tax code in a way that supports American industry and hardworking Americans.”
That includes, the 10-year veteran of the House wrote, maintaining the tax exemption for credit unions.
“Preserving the current tax-exempt status for credit unions would help provide some much needed certainty,” Sanchez wrote.
“Congress has consistently supported the credit union federal tax exemption because of the special manner in which credit unions serve consumers,” her editorial said, and “(e)liminating the tax-exempt status for credit unions would severely handicap the ability of credit unions to compete with the big Wall Street banks. More competition means more choices and better terms for consumers.”
Sanchez also noted that credit unions continued to lend during the 2008 financial crisis, unlike most banks,” increas(ing)their lending in order to give individuals and small businesses the lifeline they desperately needed.”
She also noted the low rate of foreclosures among credit union mortgages and the help that credit unions have extended to furloughed school employees.
“Getting rid of their tax-exempt status would hurt credit unions and consumer choice, and drive up the cost of financial services for everyone,” Sanchez concluded.