Representatives from Virginia Credit Union… both staff and members … and staff from Entrust and Chesterfield as well as the League and the chairman of the League’s Governmental Affairs Committee met with two staffers from Rep. Eric Cantor’s district office in Glen Allen on Thursday to present the case on retaining the credit union tax exemption.
Jane Watkins and Glenn Birch of Virginia CU, Lisa Lambrecht of Entrust, Chris Miller of Chesterfield, and Mike Flanary, GAC chair and director emeritus of 1st Advantage, made the case that credit unions earn the tax exemption daily because of their structure, the benefits returned to their members, their ability to offer needed products such as microloans despite the lack of profit in the product, and their investment in educating members on how to handle their finances. League Governmental Affairs Director Karin Sherbin noted that Congress also granted the tax exemption in recognition of credit unions serving as counter-cyclical sources of capital during bad economic times, such as the recent Great Recession.
Flanary additionally discussed the need for raising the cap on member business lending.
The members discussed how their credit union really lived the motto of People Helping People, as well as providing capital to a small business when others would not.
Cantor’s Legislative Director, Michael Lowry, responded: “Your stories can be compelling and important. No one can argue you’re not important in your communities.” However he cited the bankers’ longstanding argument that credit unions unfairly compete against them because of the tax exemption as one of the obstacles facing credit unions when it comes to promoting their legislative agenda. He praised the participants as providing a good meeting and urged credit unions to do more such educational meetings with other lawmakers.
As for the tax exemption debate in the House, Lowry said that no decisions are imminent yet, but he also advised credit unions to stay on top of developments.
The Richmond Chapter scheduled the meeting as part of its campaign on retaining the credit union tax exemption.