Help protect your credit union.
Attacks from banking groups continue to threaten your credit union's tax-exempt status as a non-profit financial cooperative. Alabama Credit Union continues to inform legislators about the difference between credit unions and for-profit banks. If you would like to assist, we encourage you to become familiar with legislation that preserves credit unions' rights and responsibility to serve members' growing needs — and, legislation that threatens credit unions' status.
When legislation or bankers' lawsuits attack any credit union, it's an attack on all credit unions. Alabama Credit Union proudly protects members' right to join and participate in their not-for-profit financial cooperative. Keep up to date on legislation or anti-credit union lawsuits through these links:
- Alabama Credit Union League's Legislative Action Center
- Credit Union History and Philosophy
- H.R. 3579, the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act of 2003
- American Bankers Association's attacks on credit unions
- America's Community Bankers Association (conduct search on 'credit unions' or click on pull-down tab to reveal 'Credit Unions — Mission Possible')
- Analysis: Alabama's Banks vs. Alabama's Credit Unions (a PDF file)
- Alabama CU President Steve Swofford's response to banking attacks (a PDF file)
- Learn what your legislators say about credit unions
- Find out how to protect your rights (includes fax numbers and e-mail links)
Here's what Alabama legislators have to say about your right to belong to a not-for-profit financial cooperative. All members of the delegation were offered an opportunity to provide a quote about their position on credit unions' tax-exempt status, and each quote is shown in its entirety:
- Sen. Richard Shelby — "I'm not for taxing credit unions. You start taxing credit unions, you know who's going to pay the taxes -- the members. Credit unions are non-profit entities, owned and controlled by the people who use them. Their focus on member service enables them to provide a wide range of financial services in an equitable manner. Taxation of credit unions would infringe on this ability, and as such, I oppose it."
- Sen. Jeff Sessions — "I believe in credit unions and am proud to have supported your agenda throughout my time in the Senate. I am unaware of any reasons that would cause me to support removal of the tax exemption."
- Rep. Jo Bonner, 1st District — "So long as credit unions do not drastically change heir roles and do not expand membership and lending opportunities under the cover of deregulation, I believe the continuation of their tax exempt status is appropriate."
- Rep. Terry Everett, 2nd District — "As a member of a credit union myself, I understand that credit unions have intrinsic value and have an important role in Alabama's economy. In the coming months, Congress is expected to examine the tax status of numerous of institutions across a number of industries, including credit unions. I look forward to hearing testimony form credit union officials on this issue."
- Rep. Mike Rogers, 3rd District — "I strongly support the current tax exemption for credit unions. Credit unions are unique nonprofit institutions that serve the financial needs of their members. In Alabama, 176 credit unions serve 1.4 million people. Credit unions provide their members with safe and reliable financial services and can count on my support."
- Rep. Robert Aderholt, 4th District — "Nonprofit credit unions are an important part of our communities here in the Fourth Congressional District and across the state. Keeping credit unions tax exempt will help ensure that they serve the communities where they are located. Credit unions wisely focus on member services and often provide wide range of financial services for those who might not otherwise have this available."
- Rep. Bud Cramer, 5th District — "As nonprofit financial cooperatives, Credit Unions have been an integral part of our communities. They focus on serving the needs of their members, without concentrating on maximizing profits, and therefore they should remain tax exempt." We appreciate Rep. Cramer's unwavering support of credit unions, and his co-sponsorship of H.R. 3579 (The Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act of 2003).
Rep. Artur Davis, 7th District — "Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned, democratically controlled financial cooperatives that have always been exempt from federal income taxes. I have and will continue to support their tax exempt status as they are mutually-owned organizations operated entirely by and for their members.
"As financial cooperatives organized by people with a common bond, credit unions are the only depository institutions that are exempt from the federal income tax. This is part of a long-standing tradition, first recognized in 1917, when an administrative ruling by the U.S. Attorney General exempted state-chartered credit unions from federal income taxation. They are, however, required to pay payroll taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes.
"Eighty-four million Americans belong to credit unions, including thousands of my constituents, through their employer, church, or community. Unlike other financial institutions, credit unions provide many services free or below cost in order to assist their members. These services include small loans, financial counseling, and low balance share drafts.
"Taxing credit unions would put an inordinate amount of strain on rural Americans, such as on my constituents in the Black Belt, where the cost of credit would be raised for many people without an alternative source of credit. There will continue to be disagreements about the most effective ways to deregulate banks and credit unions in the coming months and years. Although I will not support any attempts to revoke credit unions' tax exemption status, I look forward to engaging in this ongoing dialogue in an attempt to provide Alabamians with low-cost, high-quality financial services."
Register to vote. Stay informed. Sign a petition encouraging legislators to protect your credit union (available now in all Alabama Credit Union branches). Write an e-mail or send a fax telling your lawmaker why your credit union is important to your financial success plan, or thank him for his stated support of credit unions. Tell other members — including members of other credit unions — about the contact you've made, and encourage them to do the same. And, let your credit union know that you've spoken out by forwarding a copy of your fax (205-348-7456) or e-mail to us.
Fax numbers and e-mail links for Alabama legislators (fax or e-mail is preferred, as regular mail takes much longer for delivery due to security screening):
|Senator or Congressman||Fax Number & E-mail Link|
|Senator Richard Shelby||
|Senator Jeff Sessions||
|Congressman Jo Bonner (1st District: Baldwin, Clarke, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, Washington counties)||
|Congressman Terry Everett (2nd District: Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Elmore, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lowndes, Montgomery [northwest part], and Pike counties)||
|Congressman Mike Rogers (3rd District: Cherokee, Cleburne, Calhoun, Talladega, Clay, Randolph, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Macon, Lee, Russell, Montgomery [southeast part] counties)||
|Congressman Robert Aderholt (4th District: Franklin, Morgan, Marshall, DeKalb, Marion, Winston, Cullman, Blount, Etowah, Lamar, Fayette, Walker, St. Clair, Pickens [northeast part] counties)||
|Congressman Robert E. "Bud" Cramer (5th District: Colbert, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Jackson, and part of Morgan counties). Note: Alabama Credit Union thanks Rep. Cramer for his co-sponsorship of H.R. 3579 (The Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act of 2003).||
|Congressman Spencer Bachus (6th District: Bibb, Chilton, Coosa, Jefferson [eastern and western parts], Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa [part] counties)||
|Congressman Artur Davis (7th District: Pickens [southwest part], Tuscaloosa [southern part], Jefferson [central part], Greene, Sumter, Hale, Perry, Choctaw, Marengo, Dallas, Wilcox, Clark [northwest part and eastern/southeastern part] counties)||