More than 700 credit union advocates rallied in front of the Iowa state capitol in Des Moines on Wednesday protesting a recent measure that aims to hike taxes on credit unions and their members, according to the Iowa Credit Union League and the Credit Union National Association.

Among the speakers at the rally was Jim Nussle, president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association, and an Iowa native who previously represented the state in Congress. Nussle was joined by Pat Jury, president and CEO of the Iowa Credit Union League; Iowa Republican Representative Walt Rogers; and credit union member Kenia Calderon.

These speakers discussed the “negative impact” the bill – pushed forward by Republicans in the state Senate – would have on Iowa consumers as it seeks to raise taxes on credit unions.

Credit union supporters gathered at the Iowa state capitol in Des Moines on March 7, 2018, to protest a bill that would impose taxes on the state's CUs.
Credit union supporters gathered at the Iowa state capitol in Des Moines on March 7, 2018, to protest a bill that would impose taxes on the state's CUs. Photo courtesy of the Iowa Credit Union League

“Senate File 2383” was passed by the Iowa Senate last week and includes a tax increase on 20 credit unions and their 600,000 members. The proposal would also affect rates and fees for future credit union members and Iowa consumers.

“Giving political speeches about reducing taxes on Iowans, and then turning around and voting for a hidden, back-door tax on 600,000 Iowans is not pro-growth, not conservative, and not very Republican,” said Nussle, a member of the GOP.

Nussle had previously urged the Iowa Senate to reject the tax bill.

CU advocates rally in Des Moines, Iowa in support of the state's credit unions
CU advocates rally in Des Moines, Iowa in support of the state's credit unions Photo courtesy of the Iowa Credit Union League

Jury said at the rally that the state’s banking lobby urged Senate Republicans to take a “divide and conquer” strategy, since they were “unable to find broad support” for increasing taxes on credit unions.

“They failed to recognize that a credit union is a credit union regardless of size, its membership or the services offered,” Jury added. “An attack on one credit union is an attack on the cooperative spirit that guides our industry.”

ICUL noted that the Iowa House of Representatives is “crafting its own tax reform” legislation based on Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ proposal, which does not include a tax increase for Iowa credit unions.

“I did not come to the statehouse to raise taxes on anyone, certainly not credit union members,” said Representative Rogers. “Credit unions play an important role in improving Iowans’ financial lives and contribute to our state’s economic growth.”

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