In Brief: Iowa CU Tax Plan Looks Dead

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DES MOINES - A bill that would apply a franchise tax on Iowa's largest credit unions appeared dead last week when Senate Republican leaders agreed to bury the tax proposal.

Republican leaders, averse to any new taxes, agreed during a party caucus last week not to bring the bill up this session, effectively killing the proposal despite support from the state banking lobby.

Pat Jury, chief lobbyist for the Iowa Credit Union League, who was notified of the decision by the Senate majority leader, was still guarded because of the possibility that lawmakers supporting the banks could plot some maneuver to revive the bill.

"Nothing's over by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "There's still four or five weeks left in the session."

Sharon Presnall, a lobbyist for the Iowa Bankers Association, conceded that the Senate leaders' decision has diminished the chances of the tax bill's passage. But she said that the bankers would continue to work with House sponsors to try to move the tax initiative, possibly as an amendment to some other legislation.

The tax bill, which passed committees in both the Senate and the House, would apply the state's 5% franchise tax to state-chartered credit unions with more than $100 million of assets and operating in multiple counties. Six of the state's credit unions would be affected if the bill were to pass.

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