Naperville, IL – September 12, 2013 – Illinois Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17) is the latest member of Congress to support preserving the credit union tax exemption, a core issue currently at the heart of a critical nationwide advocacy battle.
“As a 21 year credit union member, I believe credit unions should continue to operate as member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institutions. A tax hike on credit unions could result in higher loan rates, lower dividend rates and perhaps a reduction in the basic services credit unions offer their members,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “Taxing credit unions would do more harm than good to consumers who voluntarily join not-for-profit credit unions.”
Through her work experience and as a member of a local credit union, she has gained a considerable appreciation for the not-for-profit industry, including credit unions. Bustos is a true believer of the movement’s
“people helping people” philosophy and strongly supports maintaining the credit union member-owned, not-for-
profit, cooperative structure.
“I am a big proponent of credit unions and believe they are critical to the growth of our communities,” said Bustos. In the 17th Congressional District, there are more than 218,000 credit union members and 35 credit unions that hold about $8.2 billion in assets.
“Illinois’ credit unions are very appreciative of Congresswoman Bustos’ support of maintaining the tax exempt status of credit unions. Her on-going public recognition of the key role credit unions play in the financial marketplace is very important as Congress considers the issues around tax reform,” said Keith Sias, Illinois Credit Union League(ICUL) vice president of governmental affairs. “We look forward to continuing to working with Congressman Bustos on this critical issue.”
The Congresswoman was elected as a member of Congress during the fall 2012 election cycle. Credit unions and constituents in her home district have steadily met with the Congresswoman to provide an update about issues for when bills of critical importance come up for a vote.
The relationship began even prior to her election via a candidate forum hosted by the Northwest Illinois Chapter of Credit Unions, one of ICUL’s 24 chapters around the state. That event was one component of its on-going grassroots efforts to better acquaint lawmakers with important issues and chapter networks.
“Chapters are an important link in the League’s on-going efforts to show the importance of credit unions in the financial marketplace,” continued Sias.
Along with Credit Union National Association (CUNA), ICUL, other leagues and credit unions across the nation have since May been engaged in an unprecedented advocacy campaign, Don’t Tax My Credit Union. This campaign aims to preserve the fundamental issue and number one priority of the credit union movement — its federal tax exemption — and was launched upon learning that lawmakers intended to start from scratch in writing a new tax code. Since that time, the nation’s nearly 7,000 credit unions and their 96 million collective members have been fervently advocating for inclusion of the credit union exemption in the new tax code. For more information, see