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TOPEKA, Kan. – Citing rising salaries and costs, the Kansas Credit Union Association is proposing a 10% dues hike for next year, its first such increase in seven years. The proposal, which sets up a new formula using CUs’ assets instead of gross revenue for the dues base, also has a $17,500 cap and limits increases through 2007 to 10%. The dues package, which won acceptance by the League Board at a meeting earlier this month, must still be considered by the membership at its annual meeting April 24-26 in Kansas City. Marla Marsh, League president and CEO, said the dues increase was the first for the League since 1996 and comes as the association undergoes a declining member base due to mergers and deals with inflation-based higher expenses. “We need to be competitive on salaries and benefits,” she commented. From a high of 146 Kansas CUs five years ago, through mergers and out-of-state relocations the number has now dropped to 126, she noted. While increasing dues, the League, she said, is also seeking ways to cut costs and develop new sharing “partnerships” with neighboring Leagues on common products and services, a trend among Leagues across the country. “Our goal continues to be to look for ways to become more efficient and effective,” said Marsh. The League recently set up an arrangement with the Nebraska League to use their leasing products and with Illinois on card processing. At the same time, the Nebraska League is using the Kansas League’s item processing package. Marsh said the Kansas League “will be exploring more of these opportunities” with other Leagues in the future. “Our vision is to remain independent,” she said in response to a question about whether the Kansas League would pursue consolidation with other states’ leagues. The North and South Dakota Leagues for months have combined a number of services such as marketing with suggestions those two Leagues might have joint management arrangements. Colorado operates the Wyoming League servicing and the California Credit Union League manages Nevada’s League. -

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