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Reader's view: Taxing credit unions will hurt members, businesses

Congress has returned to Washington to talk about tax reform, the debt ceiling and other critical issues facing our country. Today I am writing about tax reform and, more specifically, the importance of credit unions' corporate income tax exemption.

Congress has returned to Washington to talk about tax reform, the debt ceiling and other critical issues facing our country. Today I am writing about tax reform and, more specifically, the importance of credit unions' corporate income tax exemption.

In 1934, Congress passed the Federal Credit Union Act, recognizing that credit unions' unique cooperative structure was an important factor in granting them a different tax status than Wall Street-funded banks. For-profit and not-for-profit business models exist in every industry, and the best part about America is that both of these models are given a chance to succeed side by side in the marketplace.

Not-for-profit credit unions provide valued financial services to 1.5 million Minnesotans and 96 million members nationwide. Credit unions are democratically run cooperatives where members receive mutual benefit through lower loan rates, higher deposit rates and reduced fees. Additionally, credit unions have increased member business loans by 34 percent since 2008, proving that they work to help members grow businesses and jobs in their communities.

As Congress is reviewing tax reform, I want to remind Rep. Rick Nolan and Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar that a federal income tax on Minnesota's member-owned credit unions is an additional tax upon credit union members. A federal corporate income tax also significantly would reduce credit unions' ability to continue their exemplary service to their members and their communities.

Let's keep our communities growing. Please don't tax my credit union.

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Larry Champeaux

Cloquet

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