Utah Legislature Poised In Anti-CUBid

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SALT LAKE CITY - (01/25/05) -- The credit union lobby succeededFriday in getting watered down a punitive measure aimed at reigningin credit unions but not enough to kill the anti-credit union bid.The initiative, a non-binding resolution urging Congress to weighin on the decade-long battle between banks and credit unions, couldbe voted by the House as a soon as Tuesday, then sent over to theSenate for its concurrence. Scott Simpson, president of the UtahLeague of CUs, said he was happy with Friday's amendments, "but westill hate the resolution," he added of the bid to allow states totax federally chartered credit unions. Among Friday's successeswere the elimination of language creating two separate categoriesof credit unions: traditional, small credit unions that are exemptfrom bank-like rules and taxes; and large, diversified creditunions that are non-exempt. But the measure would still askCongress to review the states' ability to tax federally charteredcredit unions, which are currently exempt from federal and statetaxes. Supporters of the anti-credit union push were angered when ahandful of large credit unions targeted for taxation escaped thethreat by converting to federal charters. "The one thing that isabundantly clear is that folks want this thing (the bank-creditunion battles) to go away," Simpson told The Credit Union JournalMonday night. Utah credit unions are spending more than $50,000 onTV and radio ads, organizing e-mail and letter campaigns all aimedat getting state legislators to defeat the initiative, known asHouse Resolution 1.

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