Credit Union Tax Takes to Social Media

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COLUMBIA - People took to social media Tuesday to voice their concerns against taxing credit unions.

Federal legislators and some big banks are pushing for a tax reform that would change the tax status of many entities including credit unions.

"We're a credit union, and we're definitely one of them that is really pushing to help keep this bill from being passed," said Amy Montcalm,‎ branch manager at United Credit Union.

Organizers asked people to tweet their representative or senator with the hashtag #DontTaxMyCU, or post a similar message on their lawmaker's Facebook page.

"It's actually helped spread the word quite a bit," Montcalm said. "It's giving us the opportunity to really get it out to millions of people."

Credit unions claim having to pay taxes would negatively affect their services.

"It's going to drastically affect our members," Montcalm said. "Our rates aren't going to stay the same."

The American Bankers Association supports the idea of taxing credit unions. It claims credit unions are now a $1 trillion industry, competing for the same business and offering the same products as community banks.

 "Credit unions are in town with one sole purpose: Lobbying Congress to maintain their huge government subsidy provided to them at taxpayer expense," ABA said on its website.

Montcalm does not agree.

"That's very untrue," she said. "Not everybody is the same."

ABA's "It's Time to Pay" advocacy campaign is urging Congress to repeal credit unions' outdated tax exemption as it considers tax reform.

ABA is running print and radio ads in Washington, D.C., this week in conjunction with the National Association of Federal Credit Union's advocacy meeting. It urges credit unions that have "grown beyond recognition" and lost their focus on low- and moderate-income customers "to pay income taxes like the rest of us."