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Sen. Stabenow States Support For CU Tax Exemption
WASHINGTON (6/26/13)--U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has sent a strong statement supporting the federal credit union tax exemption to the Michigan Credit Union League.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) issued a strong statement supporting the federal credit union tax exemption, said the Michigan Credit Union League. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League)
"As a credit union member, I know first-hand how important credit unions' services are to people in Michigan and across the country," Stabenow said in the statement to MCUL & Affiliates (Michigan Monitor June 24). "That is why I am committed to preserving credit unions' traditional status as tax-exempt, not-for-profit, community-based organizations."

Congress is considering tax reform, saying it is starting with a blank sheet of paper, meaning any federal tax exemption is at risk, including credit unions'. Stabenow said that Congress has difficult work ahead to reform the tax code, but the credit union tax exemption is one tax break that must stay.

"As we look at how to reform the tax code, outdated or inefficient tax provisions must go," she said. "But tax provisions that are working well and benefitting middle-class families must be maintained. One such provision that I will work to preserve in tax reform is the credit union tax exemption, which ensures that community-based institutions can continue to provide quality financial services to their members."

Stabenow said she believes "there is solid support for preserving the exemption among my colleagues on the committee and in Congress, thanks in no small part to how engaged credit union members and leadership are in ongoing policy debates. Credit unions and credit union members should continue to stay engaged with their members of Congress to highlight the services and economic growth they provide."

Noting that Stabenow is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which is overseeing tax reform in the Senate, League CEO David Adams said "our Michigan senator appears ready to take on the big bank lobbyists as they try to take away the consumer benefits of credit unions.

"Our country is fortunate to have a lawmaker who stands up for credit unions when they are under attack from bankers who, in an obviously self-serving way, lobby for the repeal of the credit union tax exemption," Adams said.

Credit unions are rallying their support for the Credit Union National Association's "Don't Tax My Credit Union" initiative.

For example, the employees at LANCO FCU, Lancaster, Pa., are wearing T-shirts with the "Don't Tax My Credit Union" message on Fridays throughout the summer. LANCO President/CEO Stacey Remick called for member action on LANCO's website and in an e-mail blast, and is promoting it in its upcoming newsletter and statement stuffers (Life  is a Highway June 24).
Staff at LANCO FCU, Lancaster, Pa., are doing their part to promote the Credit Union National Association's and state leagues and association's campaign to preserve credit unions' tax exempt status. They proudly sport their "Don't Tax My Credit Union" T-shirts on Fridays throughout the summer. (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association)

Leagues are also pressing the case for preserving credit unions' tax exemption. New Jersey Credit Union League Director of Government Affairs Chris Abeel on Monday advocated that message with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor during a small lunch in Atlantic City hosted by U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.).

In a Facebook posting after the lunch, Abeel said Cantor "understands the credit union difference. His advice, keep up the grassroots pressure."

The campaign combines traditional online e-mail campaign methods with newer media vehicles such as Facebook, a Twitter handle @CUNAadvocacy and hashtag #DontTaxMyCU, and social media microvideo site Vine.

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