CUs', Members' Action Strong as Tax Reform Enters Next Phase

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 12:06:00 PM

WASHINGTON – Tax advocacy efforts by credit unions and their members have remained strong as the U.S. Congress prepares to draft comprehensive reform legislation in the coming weeks, with more than 100,000 separate congressional contacts being made to tell their legislators, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!"

Tax reform is alive and well on Capitol Hill. The credit union tax status is in the mix, and credit unions need to remain aware and active to protect their tax status, according to CUNA.

The last in a series of tax reform options papers is expected to be released later this week. A tax options paper on exempt organizations and charitable giving released last week included two options of particular interest to credit unions. The paper mentioned one tax reform option could be to "disallow tax-exempt status for certain organizations engaged in business activities, such as credit unions, nonprofit hospitals or certain types of insurance." The report also includes a discussion of options to expand Unrelated Business Income Tax, or UBIT.

With these and other papers having been released and discussed by the Senate Finance Committee, the process can move on to the next phase of writing new tax laws. The chairman of the Senate's tax-policy committee and leader of the Joint Committee on Taxation is calling for the tax reforms to be finalized and introduced before the August recess.

The groundbreaking CUNA/state credit union league advocacy effort, which combines elements of traditional letter writing campaigns with new media methods to leverage the power of credit unions' 96 million members, continues to gain traction on social media. The Don't Tax My Credit Union! Facebook page has been viewed more than 265,000 times since mid-May. Pro-credit union messages have been widely shared through CUNA's Twitter handle @CUNAadvocacy, and hashtag, #DontTaxMyCU, and social media micro-video site Vine.

CUNA has also developed a reformatted version of its tax advocacy toolkit to help credit unions and their members spread this message.

Hearings on today's schedule include: a House Financial Services subcommittee hearings on how “Dodd-Frank Act Hampers Home Ownership” (see related story below), and the CFPB’s budget. A Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs subcommittee will hold a hearing on reverse mortgages and their impact on the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The House Financial Services Committee has also set a Wednesday markup session for the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act (H.R. 1105), the Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act (H.R. 1135), the Audit Integrity and Job Protection Act (H.R. 1564) and H.R. 2374, to amend Section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

CUNA’s Tax Advocacy Toolkit is available here.

The “Don’t Tax My Credit Union” Web site is available at www.donttaxmycreditunion.org

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