Harris Poll: Most Americans Support Removing Tax Exemption for Large Credit Unions

A majority of Americans across all political parties said they would support ending federal and state tax exemptions for large credit unions, according to a Harris Poll survey commissioned by the Florida Bankers Association. The study was commissioned as part of FBA’s effort to advance a bill that would end the tax exemption for credit unions with more than $500 million in assets.

Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed agreed that a tax exemption for these institutions was unfair, and 70% said they would support congressional action to require CUs with more than $500 million in assets to pay income taxes. Three-fourths of respondents also agreed that tax-exempt institutions should not be permitted to acquire local community banks. The poll also showed opportunity for more consumer education about the credit union tax exemption, with just 18% of respondents correctly stating that credit unions are tax-exempt, with 37% believing CUs do pay taxes and 45% being unsure.

“Voters have spoken and seem to agree that there is no reason why mega credit unions, which enjoy the majority of all credit union industry profits and look and act just like taxpaying banks, should be free of taxation,” said FBA President and CEO Alex Sanchez. “The findings from the poll show that the outdated exemption needs to end.”