MERRIVILLE, Ind. – Representatives from Indiana credit unionsand the Indiana Credit Union League made good use of CongressmanPete Visclosky's (D-1) time when he was in his northwest Indianadistrict during the Columbus Day recess by meeting with thecongressman Oct. 13 at Northern Indiana FCU. League President/CEOJohn McKenzie started the meeting by explaining to Visclosky howimportant the federal tax exemption is to credit unions' ability toserve their members. He pointed out to the congressman that inIndiana, the 2.2 million credit union members benefit by the $160million they save each year by having access to credit unionscompared to if their only choice for financial services were banks.This is a 5-to-1 return on the federal tax exemption. McKenzie alsoreminded Visclosky that the size of any credit union is notrelevant to the taxation arguments being made by bankers. Creditunions' structure as member owned, not-for-profit financialcooperatives, said the League president, is what has earned themtheir tax exemption. In addition to covering credit unions' taxexemption, CU leaders attending also addressed the regulatoryburdens on credit unions, specifically those that could belightened 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 wereparticularly interested in the CURIA provisions that would allowthem to cash checks for individuals in their fields of membershipthat are currently unbanked and are reliant on high-cost checkcashing services. The group was also interested in enhancing theirability to serve small businesses in northwest Indiana through theincrease in the member business lending cap. -


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