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SALT LAKE CITY – Stating the industry “got slammed” in the Utah House tax vote, Curt Doman, president of the $170-million Granite CU, Salt Lake City, said he saw no future in “operating in this hostile environment” and forecasted all of the 87 state-chartered credit unions of any size in Utah would convert to federal charter in the next couple of years or sooner. “We’re absolutely talking about it,” declared Doman. Though the Utah League of Credit Unions and other CU executives profess faith that the tax bill can still be modified in the Senate for a study, Doman said he was worn out from the banker fight, though he and his staff worked hard in contributing to the campaign to defeat the bill. “The bankers seem to have the numbers, and we are simply not doing well,” observed Doman. “Why would anyone continue to operate in an environment so unfriendly?” Doman asked, referring to the credit union-unfriendly climate in Utah. “If I want to make a business purpose loan to my neighbor next door holding the grass catcher, if he hasn’t been a member for six months, I can’t do it,” said Doman in highlighting what he said were burdensome restrictions. He said his five-branch CU has concluded it has to “give up” trying to operate under current conditions “because we can’t fulfill our fiduciary responsibility to our members.” Doman’s preference, he said, is to retain a state charter “because we put more trust in those living closer to us who will be more reasonably receptive to our needs” rather than a federal agency “2000 miles away.” Regarding the House 43-32 vote that passed H.B. 162, Doman said he observed the last-minute political maneuvering and how “the bankers did a good job” of bringing in the votes. “I saw Jeff Alexander rallying the troops,” said Doman referring to the House sponsor of the bill. But not all Utah CUs were gloomy about the possible outcome. “They’ve taken a little air out but we are recharged,” vowed Shelley Clarke, president of Goldenwest. “We intend to take this battle to the end,” she said adding “we do not want Utah to set a precedent for the nation.” The Utah League also took heart in a public opinion poll conducted for Deseret News and KSL-TV by a local firm which showed that 57% of Utahans oppose making large CUs pay corporate income taxes, while 34% favor the bill. Nine percent don’t know, said the poll. -

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