HARRISBURG, Pa. (6/1/11)--Pennsylvania Credit Union Association board member Paula A. Nihoff advocated for credit unions’ tax-exempt status in a May 26 Readers Forum letter to The Tribune Democrat. Nihoff, who is president/CEO, HealthCare First CU, Johnstown, Pa., was writing in response to a May 20 letter, “It’s time credit unions paid their ‘fair share.’” In 1937, Congress granted credit unions federal tax-exemption based upon their cooperative structure as financial institutions that are operated by and for their members, Nihoff explained. Credit unions operate as democratically cooperative institutions, serving only their members, on a not-for-profit basis. “Credit unions put people (their members) ahead of profit,” Nihoff wrote. She noted that 92 million credit union members receive benefits from better pricing on services as a result of the tax exemption, saving them $7.5 billion a year. “That savings is especially significant when measured against $1.5 billion in lost federal revenue that the government says is represented by the credit union tax exemption,” Nihoff wrote. To read the full letter, use the link.