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WASHINGTON-America’s Community Bankers has not made a decision yet as to whether to respond to the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform recent request for public comment. One of the specific items the panel is seeking comment on is aspects of the tax system that are “unfair.” However, the panel is not looking for specific proposals at this point, it emphasized. “We haven’t decided what we’re going to do with that panel,” ACB Executive Vice President for Governmental Affairs Robert Davis commented. If ACB does choose to “opine” to the panel, he said ACB’s message has always been consistent: that large bank-like credit unions should be taxed. He noted that that Congressional Budget Office report each year indicates that credit unions avoid paying about a billion in taxes each year due to their exemption. The American Bankers Association and Independent Community Bankers of America did not return requests for comment. “We’ve definitely been following what’s been going on with the tax panel. I wouldn’t say we’ve made a final decision to comment yet.Right now we’re following and paying attention to what’s going on with it and taking a look at opportunities that are out there to be involved in the process,” NAFCU Director of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler said. CUNA Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn commented, “We do want to be very vigilant with what’s filed with them.” CUNA is considering commenting and pointed out that President and CEO Dan Mica, a former congressman, has good relationships with both former Senators Connie Mack (R-Fla.) and John Breaux (D-La.), chairman and vice chairman of the panel. She added that CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference presents a great opportunity for Treasury Secretary John Snow to reinforce the administration support of the credit union tax exemption. Comments, which will be made public, are due by 5 pm March 18. Information on how to submit comments is available at http://www.taxreformpanel.gov/contact/. President George W. Bush established the tax panel Jan. 7, 2005 to recommend tax reforms to make it “simpler, fairer, and more growth oriented.” [email protected]

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