The National Taxpayers Union is purposely attempting to mislead lawmakers by attempting to link the credit union tax exemption to proposals to increase member business lending, Carrie Hunt, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions’s executive vice president of government affairs and general counsel charged this week.
“It is unfortunate that the NTU continues to misrepresent the facts in order to fit their narrative on credit unions,” Hunt said in a letter to key members of the House and Senate. “It is disappointing that while our country seeks to recover from a pandemic and an economic crisis, the NTU continues these baseless attacks.”
The NTU sent a letter to lawmakers last week, saying that credit unions have essentially become banks rather than institutions that are supposed to serve people of modest means. The group said that if credit unions want to increase their member business lending—a proposal by NAFCU and the Credit Union National Association—then the industry should be willing to make concessions, including filing IRS documents about their expenses and executive salaries.
Hunt said that the NTU failed to mention that many banks have been unwilling to lend to very small businesses during the pandemic and that many of those businesses have turned to credit unions.
She said that the NTU also did not discuss the billions of dollars in tax breaks that banks received in recent years.
While the NTU criticized the credit union industry for recent mergers between banks and credit unions, Hunt said that those transactions must be approved by both banking and credit union regulators.
“Bank and credit union mergers are typically a win-win for a local community that may lose its community-focused financial services, or even local employees and branches, if a national bank buys the local community bank,” she said