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WASHINGTON-The Senate Finance Committee will be following in House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas’ (R-Calif.) footsteps in weighing the tax-exempt status of nonprofit hospitals against their social good. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is looking at whether nonprofit hospitals are earning their tax-exemption, according to an article in the March 19 The New York Times. The committee will be investigating to see if the hospitals are offering enough charity care to warrant their tax-exemption. Thomas, nearly two years ago now, had paired nonprofit hospitals and credit unions as some of the institutions he would be looking into regarding their tax-exempt status. However, according to NCUA Director of Public and Congressional Affairs John McKechnie, the agency has no indication the Senate Finance Committee will be looking at credit unions as well. Chairman Grassley and NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson know each other as politicians from the same home state, which helps provide the agency with “a good line of communication,” McKechnie pointed out. Thomas’ committee has held a general hearing on tax-exempt entities then separate ones focusing on nonprofit hospitals and credit unions. The chairman and others on the committee said credit unions need data to show that they are fulfilling their societal mission, which has led to NCUA’s recently announced data collection pilot. There was no mention of credit unions in The New York Times article.

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