February 16, 2018

In this Issue:

Governor Unveils Tax Reform Proposal

On Wednesday, Governor Reynolds released her tax reform plan—the entire bill can be viewed as Senate Study Bill 3195.  As the Governor stated in her comments to attendees of ICUL’s Legislative Day last week, her bill makes no change to credit unions’ tax status.  Her support of our tax status in this bill is important and much appreciated.  If you wanted to send the Governor a brief note of thanks for supporting credit unions’ tax status in her bill, click HERE to send a note via her web site.

Here are some of the key provisions of the bill:

  • Rates will be cut by up to 23 percent, resulting in $1.7 billion in tax savings through 2023. For example, the top rate of 8.98 percent will be reduced to 6.9 percent by 2023 and will only apply to income above $160,965. Currently, income above $73,260 is taxed at 8.98 percent.
  • The plan has certain revenue targets, or triggers, that serve as safeguards and must be met for the tax reductions to take place.
  • The plan phases out federal deductibility and makes efforts to capture online sales tax revenue from out of state companies.

The Iowa Senate is expected to release its own tax reform plan in the next week or two. It’s unknown yet whether the House will have its own version, or work from the Governor’s proposal.  The League will continue being vigilant throughout the process of all these moving tax reform pieces, as they all serve as potential vehicles for the bankers to increase credit union taxes.


Register for March 7 Capitol Hill Day

We have decided to combine the March 7 and April 4 Capitol Hill Days into one event on March 7.  We are hoping to have between 200-250 attendees, so we really need your help sending large numbers from your credit union.

The bankers are having a statehouse hike on March 21 and we can’t let them outnumber our grassroots presence. 

Our event will begin at 11:45am at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines.  There will be lunch served, along with a briefing, before buses take participants to the statehouse at 1:00pm.  Buses will return attendees back to the Embassy Suites between 2:30-3:30pm, at which time folks can return home.

Please click HERE to register—there is no cost to attend.


Please Contact Your Legislator

Although the Governor's tax reform plan did not change credit unions' tax status, the fight is not over yet. The House and Senate are still working on separate tax plans that the bankers are sure to try to influence.  With your hard work, credit union members have sent over 16,000 emails to lawmakers in the last month. We believe this has had a positive impact on the discussion at the Statehouse, but we need to keep going.

Click HERE to send an email to your state legislators today.


Legislation of Interest to Credit Unions

Today marked the first “funnel” deadline of the session. This means that bills (with the exception of tax and spending bills) must have been voted out of their committee of jurisdiction by today or they are no longer eligible for consideration. Below is a list of key bills of interest to credit unions that HAVE survived that first funnel deadline. You can view the entire list of bills being tracked by ICUL’s lobby team at any time by going HERE.

Senate File 2138/House File 2232:  This bill requires that, when a mortgage is paid off, notice be given by the mortgagee (credit union) within 30 days of payment in full by executing a notice of satisfaction (under current law, there is no timeframe for the notice).  Language is provided that would excuse the lender from failing to execute the notice in certain circumstances.  Lastly, mortgages with “open-end” clauses securing lines of credit or other future obligations will not have to be released unless the mortgagor (debtor) makes a written request to the mortgagee that the mortgage be released.

Senate File 2238:  This bill would make it a class D felony for someone to possess a scanning device or encoding machine with the intent to use it for the purpose of obtaining information encoded on a payment card.  The bill also makes it a crime of third degree criminal mischief for anyone to destroy, deface or damage property that has the ability to process payment cards, including ATMs.

Senate File 2170/House File 2171:  The bill would allow a customer to contact his/her bank or credit union to stop payment on a check by electronic transmission, such as sending an email.  Under current law, a stop payment order is effective for six months, but lapses after fourteen calendar days if the original order is oral and not confirmed in “writing.” This is intended to clarify that electronic notice will suffice for written notice.

House Study Bill 622:  This bill prohibits consumer reporting agencies from charging a fee for placing, removing, temporarily suspending, or reinstating a security freeze.  The bill expands the methods currently permitted to request a security freeze from a consumer reporting agency (certified mail) to also include first-class mail, telephone, facsimile, secure internet connection, or secure electronic mail.  It also requires the reporting agency to begin the freeze within three business days (current law is five).

Senate Study Bill 3158/House File 2375:  This bill increases the superintendent of banking’s ability to establish the maximum rate of interest or charges for regulated loans subject to Code chapter 536 with unpaid principal balances from $10,000 to $30,000 or less.  The bill provides that a finance charge on a consumer loan may also include a service charge equal to the lesser of 2 percent of the amount financed or $120, in addition to 21 percent per year on the unpaid balance of the consumer loan.


Federal Update from CUNA

Date Security

The House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing on data security.  This is a long-sought hearing and expected to be the precursor to new data security legislation being introduced by Chairman Luetkemeyer.  Kim Sponem, President and CEO of Summit Credit Union in Madison, Wisconsin, will testify on behalf of CUNA and America’s Credit Unions.

ADA

We have been working behind the scenes with the Georgia League and others to use H.R. 620, an Americans with Disabilities Act Reform bill, as a vehicle to raise awareness regarding credit unions’ concerns with predatory litigation related to website accessibility.  This legislation remains highly controversial.  Several protesters opposing the legislation were arrested this week after disrupting the Rules Committee hearing.  Our efforts on this legislation have been aimed at raising awareness.

Another note on this matter:  Thank you for the very positive and cooperative response we have received from Leagues in states where there are credit unions fighting lawsuits related to website accessibility.  We’re very close to filing amicus briefs in conjunction with Leagues, which I think we all agree sends a powerful message.

Regulatory Relief

Finally, keep an eye on the Senate floor.  Based on the meetings we have had with Senate leadership and the sponsors of the bi-partisan Senate Banking Bill, we believe this legislation is next up after immigration.  That means if the Senate limits the debate to this week, it is possible that S. 2155 could be on the floor during the CUNA GAC.  A lot of things could intervene to keep that from being the case, and we will have more certainty early next week.

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