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Dems Vow to Defend CU Tax Exemption
Thursday, March 12, 2015 6:35 AM

Though the GOP-led Senate Finance Committee has been gearing up for another look at the entire tax code, several Democrats speaking at the Credit Union National Association Governmental Affairs Conference said they'd oppose any changes to the CU tax exemption.

"I want to be clear that any proposals to change the tax status of credit unions will not win the support of me and a whole lot of others," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the top Democrat on the Banking Committee and a senior member of the Finance Committee.

Brown said the issue boils down to whether those pushing to reduce the corporate tax rate might look to do so by expanding the tax base, and bringing in groups like credit unions as part of that effort.

"That's the threat to credit unions, that somebody in the Senate will try, in order to get the tax rate down," Brown told GAC attendees. "They're going to want to tax credit unions as well, and they're going to want to change the status of credit unions."

Other lawmakers, including Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Gary Peters (D-MI), along with Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), also spoke in favor of the CU tax exemption.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a senior member of the finance panel, noted Monday at the CUNA conference that the issue hasn't been central to discussions around tax reform so far. "The only time that this issue is brought up is either when I'm talking to credit unions or to banks. Outside of that, the issue has rarely, if ever, come up among members of the Finance Committee or as part of the tax reform framework that has been put together for working on tax reform this Congress."