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Tax Reform heats up in Washington

Early Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) sent their colleague's a letter stating that the next step of tax reform involves all of them. The letter, which you can read here, informs Senators that the Finance Committee is beginning to draft a comprehensive tax reform bill. As expected, they are beginning with a blank sheet of paper.This is what the League has felt all along. However, an excerpt from the letter shows just how they plan to fill the blank page:

"To make sure that we clear out all the unproductive provisions and simplify in tax reform, we plan to operate from an assumption that all special provisions are out unless there is clear evidence that they: (1) help grow the economy, (2) make the tax code fairer, or (3) effectively promote other important policy objectives. Today, we write to ask you to formally submit legislative language or detailed proposals for what tax expenditures meet these tests and should be included in a reformed tax code, as well as other provisions that should be added, repealed or reformed as part of tax reform. In order to give your proposals full consideration as we work to craft a bill, we request these submissions by July 26, 2013. We will give special attention to proposals that are bipartisan."

So right now, every tax expenditure – including the credit union tax exemption – is out of the initial draft of the Senate tax reform bill. It's now up to all 100 Senators to submit proposals for expenditures that should be included in their bill by the end of July. The League and CUNA have been saying for weeks now that to preserve the credit union tax status, it's not about defending it, but advocating for it. The credit union voice will be among several hundred competing for the attention of lawmakers in this process. No one can remain in wait and see mode. 

Join the League on its webinar on July 2 to learn more about what your credit union can do this summer, as well as what the League and CUNA are doing. Contact LSCU VP, Governmental Affairs Jared Ross at 866.231.0545 ext. 1012 for more information on the webinar.

The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee are expected to announce a series of joint field hearings, the first of which could take place as early as the second week of July and going into the August recess. The Ways and Means Committee and Chairman Baucus have indicated they would like to release legislation in September, mark it up in the fall and push toward enactment by the end of the year. Credit unions need to act now. Go to the LSCU Don't Tax My Credit Union Resource page for ways to reach lawmakers and for creative ideas. Stop by for ways to advocate for the tax exemption.