Move Aimed At Ending Bank-CUsWar

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SALT LAKE CITY - (01/31/05) -- In one bold move a legislativeleader introduced legislation Thursday that would finally do whatthe Utah bankers have been seeking for more than a decade--levelthe playing field with credit unions--but by exempting banks fromstate income taxes and not by imposing new taxes on credit unions.But the bill, sponsored by House Revenue and Taxation CommitteeChairman Wayne Harper, failed to attract much support from thebanking lobby, which shied away before lawmakers adjourned to end aheated first week of the legislature. "Here's where I think theyunzipped their fly," Scott Simpson, president of the Utah League ofCUs, told The Credit Union Journal Saturday, of the strange dilemmaconfronting the bankers after the credit union tax initiativeadvanced earlier in the week. That was when the House passed aresolution urging Congress to let states tax federally charteredcredit unions.That measure now moves to the Senate for itsconsidertion. Simpson said he planned to speak in favor of the bankbill, which would eliminate more than $14 million in corporateincome taxes for banks next year, and as much as $36 million in2007. "We have never opposed the bankers wanting to address theirown tax status," said Simpson, adding he hoped such an initiativewould satisfy the bankers long-sought goal of a 'level playingfield' with credit unions, and thus end the constant infightingbetween the two camps. Rep. Glenn Donnelson, a member of thecommittee, agreed. "We need to get rid of the banks/credit unionsargument forever, and this will do it," he said. "It will level theplaying field."

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