As a Meritrust Credit Union member, we need your help. You may have heard politicians in Washington are considering an overhaul of the federal tax code, which includes a “blank slate” approach to reforming taxes. Under this scenario, all tax exemptions would be removed from the tax code and Congress would write a new tax code from scratch. If this happens, our tax-exempt status would be eliminated, which would greatly impact the products and services we offer to our members.
As a member-owner of a financial co-operative, you experience the many benefits of your credit union membership. But, unfortunately, many members of Congress do not understand the difference between a credit union and a bank and therefore, do not fully grasp the benefits of a credit union in their constituent’s community. We need your help with communicating the credit union difference to Congress.
What’s the difference between a bank and a credit union? Banks maximize profits for a group of investors, whereas credit unions exist to serve their members—which includes working families, small businesses and local communities. Banks and credit unions both earn a profit, but what we do with our profit is different. We return our profits to our members in the form of higher return on savings, lower rates on loans, low or no fees, as well as free convenience services—such as online banking, mobile banking apps, bill pay, online budgeting tool, eDeposit, financial counseling, access to over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs throughout the world and over 5,000 shared branches throughout the nation and more!
How does a credit union make a difference for the people in Kansas? According to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), consumers saved $5.7 billion last year by using credit unions instead of banks due to credit unions’ lower loan rates, higher yields on savings and fewer/lower fees. For Kansas consumers specifically, credit union members saved $53 million last year, resulting in an annual household savings of anywhere from $160-$1,320 depending on product usage. In addition, bank customers also benefitted to the tune of $3.4 billion because credit unions’ presence in the marketplace forced banks to charge less than they otherwise would in order to stay competitive.
What does the credit union tax exemption mean to you? It means you save money. Credit unions pass the savings onto their members in the form of higher return on savings, lower rates on loans, low to no fees, as well as access to free convenience services. In fact, according to research from CUNA, for every $1 of our tax exemption, credit unions return $10 to members in the form of better rates and lower fees.
It is also important to note while credit unions have a federal income tax exemption, we do pay other types of taxes including real property taxes, tangible personal property taxes, payroll taxes and various other taxes. The rationale for the tax-exempt status has been reaffirmed by the U.S. Congress several times since it was first enacted in 1937. We don’t want the credit union difference to end in the marketplace because Congress doesn’t understand the benefits to consumers.
Please take action today! Contact your legislators and tell them to not tax your credit union. Simply go to www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org to register and from within the site, you can send an email or letter to your Senators and Congressman educating them on the credit union difference and why credit unions are important in our communities. You can also call 877.642.4223 toll free to contact your Congressman about this issue.
Thank you for supporting credit unions! We solely exist to help our members reach their financial goals, both in good times and bad times. We are more than a place to put your money. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 316.683.1199 or toll free at 800.342.9278.