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RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (D) didn’t mince words when he addressed the Legislators’ Night of the NoVa Chapter of the Virginia Credit Union League last week. Speaking to 85 attendees at the event on Oct. 19, Moran warned them he believes credit unions have never been closer to taxation. “Credit unions have the most serious challenge ever to their financial viability now facing them in Washington. They have never been closer to taxation,” he said. Citing Congress’ need to fund a growing budget, as well as the costs incurred from cleanup efforts from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the War on Terror, Moran said, “They have got to find revenue enhancers, and they are going after credit unions. The bankers feel they are close to taxation of credit unions, at least the larger ones. There are a number of large credit unions in Northern Virginia, and they are on the chopping block.” Moran promised credit unions “I intend to continue to fight as hard as I can to protect the credit union tax exemption, to make it possible to get that home loan or car loan. I have long said that credit unions are an essential component of qualify of life in Northern Virginia. If you get taxed, you might as well have stockholders and operate like banks.” Referring to the hearing, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) has said he wants to hold on CUs’ tax exemption, Moran said credit unions would be better off with a hearing on the issue before the House Ways and Means Committee because, he said, “it would provide credit unions a chance to publicly air their case for the continuation of the tax exemption.” Virginia Credit Union League President/CEO Rick Pillow said Rep. Moran’s comments “only confirm what we’ve feared. “Some leaders, at least in the House, are looking to eliminate the credit union tax exemption with a reconciliation bill that would prevent credit unions and their member-owners from putting up much of a fight. If a reconciliation bill to address the budget deficit, Hurricane Katrina or the War on Terror include what amounts to a repeal of the credit union tax exemption, even our staunchest allies will be hard-pressed to vote against such a measure,” Pillow emphasized. The League president characterized Moran’s comments as “a brutally honest assessment of what we face, given the stance of Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, the pressing federal budget issues and the lobbying power of the bankers. “It’s more important than ever that our credit unions and their member-owners contact Virginia’s Congressional delegation and fight for the continuation of the credit union tax exemption,” said Pillow. The VCUL President urged all credit unions to send their state and federal lawmakers and their staff letters and e-mails, reminding them that “an additional tax on credit unions is a tax on hardworking families.” He told Credit Union Times “he (Moran) was very blunt and upfront with his assessment. Not all congressmen would put it in that context. “It’s one thing for CUNA and the Leagues to tell credit unions about the threat to their tax exempt status. But they got to hear it from one of their congressmen, and we take that very seriously, it gets our attention.” -

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