Nearly 750 Credit Union Supporters Gather at Capitol to Advocate for Financial Choice

DES MOINES – Nearly 750 credit union supporters gathered at the Iowa State Capitol today to rally in support of the not-for-profit credit union industry in Iowa.

Official speakers at the rally included Jim Nussle, former Iowa Congressman (R) and current CEO of the Credit Union National Association; Pat Jury, President and CEO of the Iowa Credit Union League, Representative Walt Rogers (R – Waterloo); and credit union member Kenia Calderon. These speakers discussed the negative impact the Senate Republican bill would have on Iowa consumers as it seeks to raise taxes on credit unions.

“Giving political speeches about reducing taxes on Iowans and then turning around and voting for a hidden, back door tax on 600,000 Iowans is not pro-growth, not conservative, and not very Republican,” said Nussle.

Senate File 2383 was passed by the Iowa Senate last week and includes a tax increase on 20 credit unions and their 600,000 members. The proposal would also affect rates and fees for future credit union members and Iowa consumers.

“Unable to find broad support for increasing taxes on credit unions, the bank lobby urged Senate Republicans to take a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy,” said Jury. “They failed to recognize that a credit union is a credit union regardless of size, its membership or the services offered. An attack on one credit union is an attack on the cooperative spirit that guides our industry.”  

The Iowa House of Representatives is crafting its own tax reform legislation based of Governor Reynolds’ proposal, which does not include a tax increase for Iowa credit unions.

“I did not come to the statehouse to raise taxes on anyone, certainly not credit union members,” said Representative Rogers. “Credit unions play an important role in improving Iowans’ financial lives and contribute to our state’s economic growth.”

Eighty-five percent of Iowa credit union loans are consumer-focused, showcasing that credit unions serve the everyday needs of Iowans that banks often won’t.

“I love my credit union. The financial literacy and planning tools enabled me to graduate from college debt-free,” said Calderon. “As an immigrant, my credit union helped me when banks wouldn’t. My credit union helped me achieve my goals and get the education needed to be an asset to the Iowa workforce and economy.”

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About Iowa Credit Unions:

Iowa credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that serve more than 1.1 million Iowans. Due to the not-for-profit structure, credit unions are able to provide Iowa members $100 million in annual savings through better rates and fewer fees than what they would have paid for similar services at a bank. Increasing taxes on credit unions is a direct increase on credit union member-owners and will eliminate the choice and competition provided by credit unions in the Iowa marketplace. For more information, visit www.ProtectFinancialChoice.com.

About the Iowa Credit Union League:

ICUL is the trade association that represents the interests of Iowa credit unions and their more than one million members. Credit unions are not-for-profit, financial cooperatives owned and operated by their members. Iowans use their credit union membership to receive higher interest rates on savings and lower interest rates on loans. For more information about ICUL and Iowa credit unions, visit www.IowaCreditUnions.com. Follow ICUL on Twitter at www.twitter.com/icul or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/iowacreditunions.

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