Credit Union CEO: Hatch Right to Question Large Credit Union Tax Exemption

Nearly a month after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wrote to the National Credit Union Administration questioning the federal tax exemption for the largest credit unions, one credit union CEO today agreed that the time is now to explore taxation for those institutions.

In an op-ed in American Banker, Rob Taylor, president and CEO of Idaho State University Credit Union in Pocatello, Idaho, echoed Hatch’s concerns about large, multiple common bond credit unions that have been allowed to expand and, in many cases, compete with smaller credit unions. Often, these expansions are harmful to small credit unions “that have stayed true to their original fields of membership,” Taylor said. He added that “the NCUA is contributing to this decline with their laissez-faire approach to overlapping fields of membership.”

“The problem with [the credit union] movement is most of us have been indoctrinated to believe our common enemy are bankers … when in fact the real threat to our future lies within our own industry,” he said. “I agree with Sen. Hatch that many larger credit unions operate in the same manner as taxable banks, and I believe it’s time for them to convert to bank charters and be taxed like the ‘big boys.’”