Attacks on tax status misguided

We take every opportunity to remind policymakers of the benefits credit unions provide.

CUNA Chief Economist Mike Schenk

In a letter delivered in April to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) urges the Senate Finance Committee to evaluate the tax-exempt status for large credit unions.

NTU’s letter falsely characterizes credit unions, their mission, and the statutory rationale for the credit union tax status. The group seems unaware that Congress originally conveyed the federal income tax exemption to credit unions because of their unique ownership structure and special mission.

Credit unions of all sizes remain distinguished by member-ownership, democratic control, and not-for-profit status—a structure that hasn’t changed one bit over their nearly 100 years of existence.

Further, NTU wrongly equates the terms “low income” and “unbanked” with “modest means.” History clearly shows the American credit union movement began as a cooperative effort to serve wage-earning, working-class people, not “unbanked” or “low income” individuals.


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