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MERRIVILLE, Ind. – Representatives from Indiana credit unions and the Indiana Credit Union League made good use of Congressman Pete Visclosky’s (D-1) time when he was in his northwest Indiana district during the Columbus Day recess by meeting with the congressman Oct. 13 at Northern Indiana FCU. League President/CEO John McKenzie started the meeting by explaining to Visclosky how important the federal tax exemption is to credit unions’ ability to serve their members. He pointed out to the congressman that in Indiana, the 2.2 million credit union members benefit by the $160 million they save each year by having access to credit unions compared to if their only choice for financial services were banks. This is a 5-to-1 return on the federal tax exemption. McKenzie also reminded Visclosky that the size of any credit union is not relevant to the taxation arguments being made by bankers. Credit unions’ structure as member owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives, said the League president, is what has earned them their tax exemption. In addition to covering credit unions’ tax exemption, CU leaders attending also addressed the regulatory burdens on credit unions, specifically those that could be lightened by passed of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA) – they asked Rep. Visclosky to become a co-sponsor. According to the Indiana League, CU representatives were particularly interested in the CURIA provisions that would allow them to cash checks for individuals in their fields of membership that are currently unbanked and are reliant on high-cost check cashing services. The group was also interested in enhancing their ability to serve small businesses in northwest Indiana through the increase in the member business lending cap. -

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