Credit unions thank Camp for ignoring their tax break

A key advocate for credit unions is thanking the House’s top tax writer for leaving their tax exemption out of his draft tax reform plan, all while further escalating a spat with the banking industry.

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Dan Berger of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions told Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) that “taxing credit unions would penalize the members they serve and be wholly inconsistent with the fundamental purpose of tax reform.”

The banking industry has panned Camp’s proposal for, among other things, not targeting the credit union’s exemption, making the case that credit unions have essentially become tax-free banks and that their tax break gives them an unfair advantage over actual banks. Two leading interest groups reiterated that case this week, in what has become an extensive back-and-forth.

In his letter, Berger responds to those criticisms by making the case that getting rid of the exemption would hurt the economy, and noted that – even with the tax break – banks aren’t rushing to reorganize as credit unions. 

"As you know, during the financial crisis credit unions continued to lend to consumers and small businesses that were left behind by our nation's mega-banks," Berger wrote.

This post was updated at 10:07 a.m. on Thursday, March 12, 2014.