Local credit union reps lobby against Iowa Senate tax bill

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- A local group of credit union advocates went to the Iowa state capitol to show their opposition to a recently proposed bill.

In late February the Iowa Senate proposed the "Iowa Working Families Tax Relief Act," which aims to provide tax relief across the state.  According to the Senate's bill overview, one part of the bill "equalizes the taxes on institutions providing financial services with the new financial institution tax structure."

“What this does is this taxes credit unions, not-for-profits, in the exact same fashion that banks – for profits - are taxed," said Matthew Debisschop Ascentra's Vice President of Human Resources. "We don’t do everything banks do, that’s how we justify our not-for-profit status and our involvement and commitment to community.”

The Iowa Bankers Assosciation, however, supports the bill's plan.  According to the Des Moines Register, the association has launched a commercial calling for people to help "end the credit union industry's free ride."

"We have a real opportunity here to address this issue and protect Iowa taxpayers," said John Sorensen, president and CEO of the Iowa Bankers Association, reported the Register.

According to the report, bankers consider credit unions as having an unfair advantage in the finance market.

In the Quad Cities, the local group wanted to show their opposition to the bill's tax hike.  So, on Wednesday, March 7 a group of around 50 people hopped on a bus and headed for Des Moines.  There, they planned to meet with about 1,000 more credit union advocates.

The Iowa House was continuing to work on their version of the bill and had a subcommittee hearing planned for Thursday morning.  According to a report by the Des Moines Register, the House representatives were basing their bill off a proposal by the governor.