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WASHINGTON-Treasury Secretary John Snow acknowledged that credit unions’ tax exempt status is “teed up for a good debate,” but he did not back away from the administration’s position supporting credit unions’ tax exemption. In clarifying the administration’s backing of credit unions’ tax exemption to America’s Community Bankers Government Affairs Conference, Snow said, “The obvious reason is we are not in favor of new taxes on business.” More generally, the Treasury secretary commented that even though the Bush tax cuts have not done all the administration had hoped for, the country is much better off with them. “The worst possible thing we could do at this time in my mind is raise taxes,” he said. Though the economy is on the rise, Snow admitted that job growth is still slower than expected, but community banks are helping create new jobs by making loans to small businesses. He agreed with an audience member that there are disincentives for hiring right now, including in banks, partly because of high health care costs and payroll taxes.

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