Ore. Bank CEO Lobbies For Tax

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The president of an eastern Oregon bank recently sent a letter to its customers urging them to contact their state legislators and ask that credit unions be taxed.

The letter was sent at the same time the state's banks and credit unions were engaged in fierce lobbying efforts in the statehouse over a bank-sponsored bill that seeks to tax CUs with $100 million or more in assets. After Oregon's credit unions introduced a bill in the state senate asking that CUs be allowed to accept public deposits, the banks sought to have the two pieces of legislation linked.

The CU-backed bill passed Oregon's senate, and also is sitting in the House Business Committee.

Pamela Leavitt, senior vice president of governmental affairs and public relations for the Credit Union Association of Oregon, said she did not wish to respond directly to the letter from the bank president. Instead, she said CUAO's focus is on the pending legislation - especially the banks' bid to tax CUs.

"We are battling it with everything we have. It is our top priority that that bill does not pass," she declared. "There is a very aggressive effort by our members."

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