What's New At Mid American
Increasing taxes on credit unions strikes at heart of cooperatives
By Jim Holt, President/CEO
In a credit union, members are essentially pooling their money together to help other members. A key benefit of being part of a not-for-profit financial cooperative is that you keep more of your money through lower loan rates, higher dividends and lower or no fees.
That will change, if Congress decides to add a federal income tax to credit unions. Banker and other lobbyists and other proponents of taxing credit unions are being heard on Capitol Hill. As a credit union member, you can prevent increasing taxes on credit union members by being heard, too.
Credit unions have been exempt from federal income taxes since the federal income tax structure was started in 1916 because credit unions are organizations that have a mutual interest in serving communities or similar groups. Rather than providing profit for a select few, credit unions were started as a source of financing for people who often had limited or few assets or couldn’t prove their creditworthiness. A century later, we still serve that purpose.
Since a credit union is a not-for-profit organization, there really are no profits to tax. Profits are returned to members through the lower rates and fees and higher dividends, so adding a federal income tax to credit unions is just another tax for the 96 million credit union members.
Proponents contend that taxing credit unions will put $500 million in federal coffers, but the cost for members and their credit unions will be $5 billion in lost benefits, according to the Credit Union National Association. Ultimately, members will be affected by having fewer services, less convenience, lower dividends and higher loan rates.
We know most of you enjoy the benefits of credit union membership. That is why we are joining CUNA in its awareness and grassroots campaign, “Don’t Tax My Credit Union.” You can, too.
To find out more about the campaign, go to www.donttaxmycreditunion.org. In the “Take
Action” section of the site, you will find a template letter to send to your Congressional delegation. Tax proponents want to complete this process by the end of 2013 so your continued support will be necessary.