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<p>OKLAHOMA CITY – Steve Rasmussen, president/CEO of FAA Employees Credit Union spoke before the state House Committee on Revenue and Taxation on behalf of Oklahoma’s 28 state-chartered credit unions and told the committee members that their idea to increase the use tax would have detrimental effects on credit unions and consumers alike. Rasmussen said the committee is looking at the possibility of doing away with the personal income tax and replacing it with a 5.9% use tax on goods and services, which would include mortgage and auto loans. “If state-chartered credit unions are subjected to even more state taxes than they already pay, there would be a real incentive for state chartered credit unions to convert to federal charters. There would also be a disincentive for federal credit unions to convert to state charters.,” he stated. Rasmussen reminded the committee members that contrary to what some people may believe, state-chartered credit unions “carry the exact same tax liability as state-chartered banks.” They pay real property tax, sales and use tax, and taxes on their earning. In addition, Oklahoma is the only state where SCCUs pay corporate taxes. When Committee Chairman Rep. Clay Pope queried Rasmussen on whether he (Rasmussen) thought it would be acceptable to credit unions to have the corporate tax dropped in favor of the service tax, Rasmussen said that idea would be unacceptable to credit unions because the increased tax would still have to be passed on to members in the form of increased rates on loans, “and that would ultimately mean less free services from credit unions,” Rasmussen told Credit Union Times. Speaking to the committee he told the members that further taxation of SCCUs “would lower tax revenues for our state rather than increasing them. It would ultimately reduce the tax revenues for the State of Oklahoma, because after conversion, a federally chartered credit union would not be liable for the same amount of tax to our state.It could also potentially cause Oklahoma consumers to seek avenues outside of Oklahoma for financial services, such as the Internet, which offers financial services from all across the country and around the world.” Rasmussen said he felt the members of the Committee on Revenue and Taxation were “receptive” to his testimony. Besides his comments, committee members also heard from representatives from the auto and insurance industries in the state. They reiterated Rasmussen’s opposition to the service tax. -</p> <p>[email protected]</p>

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