American voters overwhelmingly are unaware that credit unions pay no federal income taxes, and when told about it, more than half would support a tax reform plan that eliminates the credit union tax exemption to limit deficit increases, according to a survey conducted by Morning Consult for the American Bankers Association. The federal tax subsidy to credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets amounts to $27 billion over 10 years.
According to the national survey, 85 percent of American voters did not know whether credit unions pay taxes or mistakenly believed they do. Fifty-one percent of voters said they would support eliminating the credit union tax exemption if it helped minimize the impact of tax reform on the deficit. Fifty-six percent of voters agreed that it is inappropriate for credit unions to use their tax exemption to buy multimillion-dollar sports sponsorships, such as the Golden 1 Credit Union Center, where the NBA’s Sacramento Kings play, and the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl.
The survey results were released in a Morning Consult infographic sent to a broad audience in the public policy community as the Senate debates the latest tax reform plan. To help lawmakers and voters understand the full impact of credit unions’ tax exemption, the infographic links to a website with more information, including state-by-state details. Bankers can use and share the information on social media using the hashtag #fairshare.