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|David Creager, Manager of Grassroots Advocacy for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues|
Rather, key members of the House and Senate have renewed calls to pass comprehensive tax reform. We anticipate the first draft of a tax-reform package before spring of this year. While it is unlikely this package will pass in entirety during this calendar year, this legislation will become the starting point for future congressional efforts to reform the tax code. Negative outcomes for credit unions in this first series of tax bills will force credit unions into a long, drawn-out tax fight where defense will be our only legislative priority.
As long as the threat to the credit union tax status remains, so must our efforts to protect it. To that end, credit unions all across the country are being asked to re-engage their membership this year through the Don’t Tax My Credit Union campaign.
Last year was a successful year for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ grassroots program. Collectively, the Leagues’ member credit unions generated 285,000 contacts to Congress. Sixty-eight California and Nevada credit unions directly e-mailed their members asking them to visit Connect for the Cause and contact Congress.
Nationally, credit unions sent 1.25 million letters in support of the credit union tax status. This means California and Nevada credit unions accounted for about 23 percent of all letters sent to Congress in 2013. By any standard, that is a successful year.
This year, however, we must continue the fight—and hopefully finish the job.
Less than eight months ago when credit unions began the task of fighting for congressional support, the Leagues set a goal of generating 500,000 contacts to Congress. We must now reach that goal. Your help and engagement is needed. Credit unions that have reached out to their members should consider re-engaging their members, and every credit union who has not yet directly requested their member’s support should now do so.
In about a month, hundreds of credit union activists will descend upon Washington, D.C. for the Credit Union National Association’s Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC). Part of that event will be a massive lobbying effort capped off by hundreds of credit union activists “hiking the hill” and asking for Congress’s support face to face.
Therefore, this next month becomes extra important. If we flood Congress with letters, tweets, and phone calls, then our message will resonate even that much louder.