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More CUs Share the Message: 'Don't Tax My CU'

MADISON, Wis. (8/1/13)--

Click to view larger image San Antonio Citizens FCU in San Antonio, Fla., made its position clear--"Don't Tax My Credit Union"--in this advertorial in the Tampa Bay Times. Pictured are staff members with CEO Tim Baldwin, bottom left. "You would think that if there were this huge advantage [from credit unions' tax status]' that some bank somewhere would want to change charters and take advantage of it," he said. (Photo provided by San Antonio Citizens FCU)

Taxation of credit unions is a bad idea because it takes money out of the pockets of millions of credit union members, said San Antonio (Fla.) Citizens FCU in an advertorial, "Local credit union urges 'Don't Tax My Credit Union,'" in the Tampa Bay Times' Pasco County edition (July 26).

That is "96 million members to be exact, and 4.6 million of those are Florida credit union members," said Tim Baldwin, San Antonio Citizens' president, quoted in the advertorial, which urged members and non-members to contact their congressional representatives as part of the Credit Union National Association's and state leagues' national campaign to preserve credit unions' tax-exempt status.

The credit union is one of many sharing the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" message.

For example, the Missouri Credit Union Association reported that many credit unions in the state participated in Don't Tax My CU Tuesday on July 23 by using Twitter and Facebook to share the #DontTaxMyCU message (The Missouri Difference July 25). Between May 22 and July 24, Missouri's U.S. lawmakers received 9,634 contacts in support of credit unions' efforts.

BluCurrent CU, CommunityAmerica CU, St. Louis Community CU, Anheuser-Busch Employees' CU, Vantage CU and Arsenal CU tweeted multiple messages, as did MCUA and Credit Unions of Missouri Twitter accounts, and 11 credit unions in the state used their Facebook pages.  Many included original content specific to DTMCU Tuesday. CSD CU, Kansas City, shared members' stories, explaining how the credit union helps them financially.

Arsenal CU in Arnold, Mo., and Electro Savings CU in St. Louis sent e-mails to thousands of members urging them to write Congress. "The question isn't why did we engage our members in this battle and ask for their support, the question is why not?" Electro President/CEO Stan Moeckli told MCUA.

"Our members are our owners and stakeholders. It is our responsibility to them to engage them in this fight. How would we explain it to them if we lose the fight and they did not know what was on the line? As a member-owner of Electro Savings, I would be upsett with my credit union if I wasn't made aware," he said.

League of Southeastern Credit Unions President/CEO Patrick La Pine told The Anniston Star (July 25) that if the tax exemption is removed, credit unions will face extreme uncertainty. Credit unions are built on a member-owned cooperative model that would have to be revisited if the exemption were removed and the change would force many to merge or convert their charters, he told the publication.

He noted that credit unions' tax exemption is not based on products and services they offer but on their not-for-profit, member-owned, cooperative structure.

Preserving the tax status is part of the "removing barriers" and "raising awareness" goals in the Unite for Good campaign toward the strategic vision in which "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner."

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