Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) expressed last week his support for the credit union tax exemption, becoming the 12th of 16 members of Michigan’s congressional delegation to offer a statement of support.
Conyers joins a growing chorus of legislators across the country who have come out in support of credit unions as Congress begins to consider tax code reform.
“Credit unions provide a sound, reliable financial home for millions of Michiganders seeking access to credit and a place to build their future,” Conyers said. “In addition to serving traditional borrowers, credit unions have been particularly successful at reaching out to underbanked individuals who are not served by the traditional commercial banking industry. In light of this track record of success, I strongly believe that current tax policies that have allowed credit unions to thrive should remain in place.”
Other lawmakers who have pledged their support for the credit union tax exemption include Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).
Credit unions have urged Congress to continue to support the exemption, while banks have called for its elimination, citing an unfair advantage.
Dan Berger, the president and CEO of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, pointed to the conversion rate of banks to credit unions and credit unions to banks in a recent editorial. Only two banks have converted to credit unions since 1996, while more than 30 credit unions have converted to banks, American Banker reports.
“If the bankers want the advantages of being a credit union, they should convert, not try to destroy a proven, valued business model,” Berger said, according to American Banker.