Hundreds Rally to Keep Credit Union Exemption
New York Credit Union Members Hold 'Don't Tax' Rally
ALBANY, NY (08/22/2013)(readMedia)-- Hundreds of Capital Region credit union members rallied today to tell Congress, "Don't Tax My Credit Union." The rally, held at the Credit Union Association of New York's offices in Albany, was focused on preserving credit unions' federal income tax exemption as Congress looks to rewrite the tax code.
"Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that return their earnings to their members in the form of lower rates on loans, higher interest on savings, enhanced service and little or no fees," said CUANY President and CEO William J. Mellin. "Elimination of the exemption would create a new tax on the 96 million credit union members nationwide and erase $6-$10 billion in annual economic benefits."
Four area credit union leaders joined Mellin in addressing the crowd. Lucy Halstead, SVP/COO of First New York FCU, shared examples of her credit union's positive community impact before noting, "The good work we're doing is far from finished, but if Congress taxes credit unions, everything would change."
Michael Tobler, president/CEO of Albany Firemen's FCU, said, "Being a not-for-profit is what makes Albany Firemen's what it is. We focus on service instead of profits, and we're able to make a real difference for area firemen, police offices and other county and city employees."
"Our mission is to meet the credit and savings needs of consumers, especially people of modest means, and our not-for-profit structure is just as valid today as it was when we started 60 years ago," emphasized CAP COM FCU President/CEO Paula Stopera.
Curt Cecala, CEO, TCT FCU, said, "We owe it to our members and our communities to fight for our tax exemption. If we sit back and do nothing, our entire not-for-profit history could be wiped away."
A national Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign was launched this spring when reports of Congress taking a "blank slate" approach to tax reform began circulating. Such an approach would call into question all current tax exemptions-including the one granted to credit unions in 1916 and reaffirmed by Congress in 1998. To learn more, visit www.donttaxmycreditunion.org.
The Credit Union Association of New York has served as the trade association for the state's credit unions for 96 years. New York credit unions employ more than 13,000 people, serve 4.8 million members and have assets of more than $62 billion.