Prodded By Bankers, Oregon Legislature Introduces CU Tax Bill

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SALEM, Ore. — The bankers have reignited a tax fight with credit unions here, succeeding in getting lawmakers to introduce a bill that would extend the state's corporate excise (income) tax to credit unions.

Though the bill is widely believed to have little chance of passage it could be a harbinger of similar fights across the country as state legislatures grapple to close gaping budget deficits.

The latest bill would apply the state's tax to state-chartered credit unions over $50 million in assets who accept at least one municipal deposit over $250,000 or that hold member business loans exceeding 10% of their assets. The bankers have been fighting for years to keep credit unions out of the market for municipal deposits and proposed an amendment to the 2007 bill allowing municipalities to deposit funds in credit unions to attach a tax requirement.

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Revenue. A hearing has not been scheduled.

At least three states tax state-chartered credit unions. Federal charters are exempt from all income taxes.

A bank-supported bill that would have applied the state's excise tax to credit unions over $100 million in assets failed in 2003, one of several states where credit unions defeated tax initiatives around that time.

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