Below is the text of the letter attributed to Bruce Penoske, president and CEO of Community Bank in Joseph, Ore., that was sent to the bank's customers.
Most Oregonians don't realize that the 109 credit unions conducting business in the great state of Oregon DO NOT PAY TAXES- state or federal. Credit unions in Oregon, as of June 30, 2002, controlled over $9 billion of Oregonians' money.
Credit unions today have all the rights and privileges of a bank, meaning they can offer any service or product that a bank can offer. Credit union deposits are insured to $100,000. However, there is a bill before the state senate to allow credit unions access to taxpayers' money, called Public Funds. Public Funds are defined as your tax dollars at the city, municipal, and county level. Credit unions want to use your tax dollars to make a profit and in turn not pay taxes on that income.
With the state of Oregon's huge financial shortfall, everyone and every business needs to pay their FAIR share. If the 109 credit unions were required to pay state income tax in 2002, I believe they would have been taxed on $137 million of income. Please take some time and call or talk with your senator or representative and let's tax this large industry, like you and I are taxed.
Bruce Penoske, President, CEO