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Published: Monday, September 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Credit unions


No reason to be tax-exempt

Regarding the article, "Credit unions fight to keep tax-exempt status": Credit unions decided to become "open charter" credit unions, back in the early '90s. With this rather greedy change, credit unions gave up their focus on the well-defined groups they had been serving, to start acting like banks. If credit unions want Open Charter, then it seems that they should pay taxes. And let us get real about this: Federal businesses taxes are only owed if a business makes money, and then only on a minority share of the net gains. How could this "hurt" any credit union?
This is compounded by the executive behavior that I have personally seen by credit unions, the worst of which was at the Whatcom Educational Credit Union. Credit unions can shift infinite "net revenue" (they don't dare to call it "profit") over to very high wages and bonuses, extreme benefits, lots of traveling, etc. Back when banks were making a huge profits, the WECU executives and board members were going to multiple credit union meetings per year, in places like Florida and Hawaii. Their CEO even admitted to me that this was "needed," as WECU was having trouble spending all the "net" that it was making. Evidently they couldn't lower fees, or raise the dividend rate to the members.
Looks like a bank, acts like a bank, talks like bank ... tax it like a bank!
Ken Cox
Tulalip
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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