WASHINGTON (11/19/13)--The head of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), has updated the ETA on the release of the first in a series of tax reform discussion drafts, Politico reported Monday. Baucus is expected to begin the unveilings today.
The timing is in keeping with what tax policy writers on Capitol Hill have been saying since the summer--that they intend to launch into tax reform and prepare for a vote during the Fall.
Credit Union National Association Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said Monday that CUNA does not expect anything related to not-for-profits to be included in this week's drafts. They are most likely to address international taxes and Internal Revenue Service reforms.
However, Donovan emphasized that a high level of advocacy on behalf of credit unions must continue. "Credit unions, credit union members--all credit union supporters--must continue to advocate for the current credit union federal tax status," Donovan said. Credit unions are assigned that tax status because they are not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives with the statutory mission to promote thrift and provide credit for provident purposes to their members.
"Credit unions must make sure that lawmakers on all levels truly understand that a new tax on credit unions would be a tax on their 97 million members," Donovan said.
Tax reform talks have been buzzing all year and in the midst of the reform effort, credit unions and their members are using CUNA and state credit union leagues' resources, social media sites including Facebook, and micro-video site Vine, to tell their legislators, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!"
The effort has garnered almost 1.2 million separate congressional contacts, made since mid-May, to support credit unions in the tax talks.
CUNA research indicates that credit unions generally offer higher returns on savings, lower rates on loans, and most importantly, low or no fees--and that these benefits combine to result in more than $8 billion in direct financial benefits each year to American taxpayers.