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LAS VEGAS – Even with a tinge of banking bias in the questions, a meeting of Las Vegas business journalists and the leadership of the Nevada Credit Union League last week turned out productive for CUs in a healthy dialogue on the tax exemption and consumer issues. “The session gave us an opportunity that credit union people often don’t get in the media – to clarify fully to consumers the difference between banks and credit unions,” said one participant, Alan Pughes, taking part in a Nevada Business Journal “Credit Union Roundtable” March 15. Pughes, a member of the League’s Legislative Committee and president/CEO of Community One FCU here, was one of nine CEOs fielding questions from Connie Brennan, publisher, and Kathleen Foley, editor, at a breakfast Q&A meeting hosted by the monthly magazine. One element of discussion was a legislative campaign by the Nevada Bankers Association to overturn a franchise tax on bank branches and payrolls started two years ago by the state to offset falling budget revenues with threats by the bankers to add CUs to the tax package. Responding to questions from the journalists, Pughes said the group emphasized that Nevada CUs as non-profits “don’t begrudge banker success, but we object when they try to harass” and intimidate CUs for selfish goals. Cognizant of the bank/CU fight, Brennan opened the Roundtable meeting by telling the CU group “you are not in enemy territory.” The Journal session was held at a Vegas casino restaurant with an edited transcript to appear in the May issue of the magazine followed in July by a “Banker Roundtable.” [email protected]

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