To Our Valued Members:
I am writing to thank all our members who told legislators Don’t Tax My Credit Union—and to urge you to continue to monitor Don'tTaxMyCreditUnion.org for important developments that could impact the future of our credit union and credit unions nationwide.
It had been reported last year that Congress was considering removing all exemptions—including the credit union tax exemption—in rewriting the tax code, despite the fact credit unions are not-for-profit and have been tax-exempt since our inception in the early 1900s. Credit unions immediately launched the Don’t Tax My Credit Union campaign which generated 1.3 million contacts to legislators from credit union members. In February 2014, the House Ways and Means Committee released its first draft of tax reform legislation – without a mention of taxing credit unions.
We have won this round; but, the fight goes on as big banks and their lobbyists continue to try to eliminate credit unions as their competition—even though credit unions hold only 6% of all financial assets nationwide, and banks hold the rest.
Taxing credit unions could destroy credit unions as we know them, eliminating financial choice for consumers. Credit unions are different from banks—and it is critical that we preserve the option for consumers to choose a not-for-profit credit union.
Westerra is owned and directed by you, the members. Unlike banks that maximize profits for a small group of investors, credit unions exist to serve their members, including working families, small businesses, and the local community. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, earnings are returned to our members through lower rates on loans, higher dividends on savings and lower and fewer fees. Our not-for-profit structure is the basis for our tax-exemption.
Your credit union’s Board of Directors are unpaid volunteers elected from among the membership to oversee Westerra’s strategic direction in serving members. Volunteers also serve on a Supervisory/Audit Committee to periodically review the credit union’s financial position, and on the Nominating Committee to evaluate and recommend candidates for volunteer positions. Each brings their unique experience, talents, knowledge and perspective to their important role with the credit union. We are committed to serving you.
Credit unions even benefit Coloradans who don’t get financial services from them. The competition created by credit unions in the marketplace forces banks to keep rates lower than they otherwise would be.
So taxing credit unions is not only bad for our nation’s economy, a tax on credit unions is really just a tax on you, the member. Please continue to monitor this important topic at www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Chairman of the Board