While Sen. Hatch’s letter was disappointing, it was an invitation to do what credit unions do best: highlight the credit union difference. Wisconsin’s credit unions justify their tax exemption every day – by serving members and communities in ways other financial institutions can’t or won’t.
Wisconsin credit union activists, for years, have shared the Wisconsin Credit Union Scorecard
with our delegation.
The 2017 Scorecard, which our activists will share with legislators this week, highlights the long history credit unions have serving members and communities. The credit union difference is illustrated in stories about serving the homeless, providing small dollar loans, free financial counseling, and investing in communities.
It also showcases in-school, student-run branches. While the banks operate typically just one or two in the state, Wisconsin’s credit unions offer nearly 100, because it’s in the best interest of their members and communities.
It’s their structure, as member-owned, member-led not-for-profits that ensures credit unions’ priorities remain local and decisions focus on people, not profit. This has been a primary talking point for Wisconsin’s credit union activists both in D.C. and back home.
Our answer to Sen. Hatch’s concerns is simple. Credit unions pay millions in taxes each year including payroll, real estate, personal property and state sales. Another tax on credit unions would be a tax on Wisconsin’s 3 million members. It would put at risk the valued programs and services our credit unions offer, that other institutions, again, can’t or won’t.