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Hearing on tax uniformity postponed
HARRISBURG, Pa. (9/11/08)--The Pennsylvania Department of Banking, Pennsylvania attorney general, bankers, and credit union parties have agreed to postpone a hearing on uniformity of taxation pending the outcome of the community charter appeal currently in the state Supreme Court (Life is a Highway Sept. 10). No timeframe was given during the status conference for resolution of the community charter matters. Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Dante Pelligrini had scheduled the status conference Tuesday with legal counsel for all parties in the case. The conference's purpose was to discuss moving the case forward, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA). The case stems from a lawsuit by bankers involving the applications for community charters by Trumark Financial CU, based in Trevose, and Freedom CU, based in Warminster (News Now Aug. 15). At issue is whether credit unions and banks are sufficiently distinguishable to merit different tax treatment consistent with the Pennsylvania Constitution. A provision in the state constitution states that like entities should be taxed in a like manner, Rick Wargo, PCUA general counsel, told News Now last month. Three credit unions, the PCUA and the state Department of Banking filed briefs Aug. 6 regarding community charter lawsuits by the Pennsylvania Bankers Association (PBA) (News Now Aug. 12). Corry Jamestown CU, Corry; Freedom CU, Philadelphia; and TruMark Financial CU, Trevose, filed the briefs in support of the banking department's approval of their community charter changes (Life is a Highway Aug. 11). The approval came in December, and PBA appealed the decision earlier this year. One of the bankers' issues is community charters and what procedures the banking department must follow when reviewing a credit union's intent to convert to a community charter. The bankers also contend that the tax-exempt status provision of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Code violates the state constitution.


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