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CUs Continue to Push Tax Status with Lawmakers
MADISON, Wis. (12/16/13)--Credit unions continue to meet with their state's individual congressional representatives to drive home the point that credit unions' tax status centers on their cooperative, member-owned structure, not on asset size, products offered, or their growth.
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), second from left, met Thursday with credit union leaders from his state at an event hosted by the New Jersey Credit Union League at Credit Union House in Washington, D.C. Pictured with Holt are, from left: League Director of Governmental Affairs Chris Abeel, XCEL FCU President/CEO and NJCUL Board member Linda McFadden, and league President/CEO Greg Michlig. (Photo provided by the New Jersey Credit Union League)
At an event hosted Thursday at the Credit Union House in Washington, D.C., by the New Jersey Credit Union League, the state's credit unions took the opportunity to meet with U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) (The Daily Exchange Dec. 13).
Holt is an avid supporter and has publicly announced his support of credit unions' tax exemption on corporate income tax, said the league.  In August, Holt's office responded to a league survey of the state congressional delegation and confirmed that "Rep. Rush Hold does support the continuation of the federal tax exemption for the nation's credit unions. He always has and will continue to support the credit union tax exemption because credit unions provide needed and valued services in our local communities."
Among those at the event were league President/CEO Greg Michlig; Secaucus-based XCEL FCU President/CEO and league board member Linda McFadden; and league Director of Governmental Affairs Chris Abeel.
In Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Credit Union Association Board Director Paula Nihoff and PCUA Governmental Affairs Committee member Vic Gioiosa met with Jim Frank, district director of U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster's (R-Pa.) office in the Hollidaysburg district to discuss credit union priorities and concerns, including preserving credit unions' tax status.
Nihoff is president/CEO of  Johnstown, Pa.-based  Healthcare First CU, and Gioiosa is president/CEO of ARC FCU, Altoona.
In addition to implications for credit unions from tax code reform, the group discussed the complexity and cost of regulations, and charter enhancements, said PCUA (Life is a Highway Dec. 12).
The meeting with Shuster's office completes PCUA's goal of coordinating credit union meetings with all of Pennsylvania's 18-member congressional delegation and two U.S. senators.
On the state legislation level, Maine Credit Union League President/CEO John Murphy and league Director of Governmental Affairs Quincy Hentzel recently  met with state Sen. Anne Haskell (D), the new Assistant Majority Leader in the state Senate (Weekly Update Dec. 13).
Haskell, who visited the league office, replaces Sen. Seth Goodall, who resigned to become the new Small Business Administration Administrator for New England.
The league reached out to Haskell to set a meeting before the next legislative session begins Jan. 8 to discuss credit unions' issues, share information and to engage in a dialogue on her new position.
During the meeting, Haskell complimented credit unions for having "a strong presence in Augusta, and for being a great resource to answer questions on issues that impact financial services. The credit unions are engaged and involved with legislators."
The Credit Union National Association, in its national Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign and other advocacy programs, has often noted the important of grassroots credit union efforts  in making credit unions' positions on issues clear to both federal and state-level lawmakers. It and the leagues often urge making contact with new legislators to help open dialogue so credit unions have a presence when issues, such as preserving the credit union tax status, are being addressed by state legislatures and/or Congress.

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