Monday, August 12, 2013
Today, the Maine Credit Union League and Maine's credit unions have launched an effort aimed at protecting the not-for-profit, member-owned structure of credit unions. As Congress considers tax reforms, Maine's 630,000 credit union members are being asked to preserve the credit unions' tax status. Without that, a credit union would no longer be a not-for-profit financial cooperative that exists to serve its members. Maine banks would like nothing more than to eliminate credit unions and make even more money at the expense of consumers.
The Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign has now been expanded to include credit union members and consumers in Maine. As a member of a credit union, you are a member-owner of a not-for-profit financial cooperative. As a member/owner, you have the right to both vote and run for the Board of Directors. You get only one vote regardless of how much money you have at the credit union and all directors are volunteers and receive no compensation for their service. This process guarantees that your credit union is looking out for your financial interests and not that of a small group of stockholders.
Now, some bankers and their trade associations are asking legislators to tax credit unions. The truth is, a tax hike on credit unions is a tax hike on all American consumers. Credit unions were created to provide financial services in a democratic, not-for-profit, cooperative manner-that is, with member ownership and control. Those characteristics are the foundation of why credit unions do not pay corporate income taxes. Credit unions do pay all other taxes including property and payroll taxes.
John Murphy, President of the Maine Credit Union League, explained, "If credit unions paid income tax, the contribution to state and federal treasuries would make not one penny difference in the taxes you pay as an individual. But the effect such taxes would have on how much you pay for credit union loans for cars, education, and houses, or the dividends you earn on credit union savings, would be significant. All taxpayers, whether members or not, benefit from the presence of credit unions in the marketplace. If banks eliminate the credit union tax exemption, there would be only one group that would benefit-the banks and their profits. While Maine bankers complain about unfair competition from not-for-profit credit unions, their real beef is competition of any kind. A tax on credit unions is a tax on you! It's that simple."
The League and Maine credit unions are asking members and consumers to take a moment to ask Congress to preserve the credit union tax status as part of tax reforms occurring now.
Take Action Now! Visit DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org to send a pre-written email to your Member of Congress today, or call them toll-free at 877-642-4223. Simply tell them, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!"
A link has also been posted on the Maine Credit Union League's home page.