Leaders and members from South Dakota credit unions and the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas convinced a county commission not to endorse a tax equity resolution that had been strongly supported by the Bankers Association of South Dakota.
“The (Brookings) County Commission decided it was not in their realm of responsibility to consider an item that had federal implications,” said Jeff Olson, CUAD’s vice president of advocacy and awareness. “Simply put, we made our case that any resolution that the committee would support was an endorsement of one business over another.”
By passing the proposed resolution asking Congress to repeal the tax exemption for credit unions, they in essence would be taxing 251,000 credit union members in South Dakota, he added.
At the Brookings County Commission meeting on Tuesday, CUAD provided 30 minutes of testimony and representatives of the Bankers Association of South Dakota were offered 20 minutes of rebuttal.
The arguments from both sides were described as a “sometimes tense back-and-forth,” according to The Brookings Register, a local newspaper.
After the debate, commission members unanimously voted, 4-0, to table the resolution indefinitely.
Also speaking on behalf of CUAD was Dan Cumbee, president/CEO of the $234 million Dakotaland FCU of Huron. Employees and members from the $207 million Sioux Falls FCU in Sioux Falls, the $126 million Service First FCU in Sioux Falls and Dakotaland FCU, also attended the commission meeting.
“I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules to come and support Dakotaland FCU and credit unions as a whole at the Brookings County Commission meeting,” said Chad Moller, Brookings branch manager for Dakotaland FCU. “I confidently believe if we would not have shown up in the numbers we did, it would have not have gone the way it did.”
Olson added: “Given the fact that the South Dakota banking chair lives and operates a successful bank in Brookings, getting the county commission to kill the resolution is a big win for credit unions and credit union members in South Dakota.”