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CU News (08-10-12)









The Pulse (08-10-12)

August 10, 2012    ●    Volume 01, Issue 32

View 08-10-12 issue of The Pulse

Credit Union News


Cummins counters bankers' claims on CU tax exemption

In response to a banker letter to the editor on credit union tax exemption, MnCUN President & CEO Mark Cummins set the record straight on the purpose and benefits of the movement's tax exempt status. Cummins clarified false and misleading claims found in a letter to the editor written by Minnesota Bankers Association President & CEO Joe Witt, who argued that credit unions have an unfair advantage due to their tax status.

In his letter, Cummins refuted Witt's argument that the basis of the credit union tax exemption was due to their service to the underserved. He clarified that credit unions were given their exemption because "they are not-for-profit, democratically controlled cooperatives that return earnings to the people they serve.” This tax exempt status was approved by Congress in 1937 and deliberated, reviewed and reaffirmed in 1951 and again in 1998.

Cummins also challenged readers to examine Minnesota banks' tax contributions. He pointed out that "nearly 70 percent of banks are designated as Subchapter S corporations,” which results in a significant loss in government revenue. In contrast, Cummins highlighted the consumer benefits of credit unions' tax exemption. Through lower loan rates, higher savings rates and fewer fees, Minnesota credit unions provide $80 million in direct financial benefits to the state's 1.5 million members.

Cummins concluded that taxing credit unions would do more harm than good. "For the sake of all consumers, credit unions' tax status doesn't need to be fought – it needs to be protected and upheld,” Cummins proclaimed. To view the Minnesota Credit Union Network and Minnesota Bankers Association letters to the editor, visit the Brainerd Dispatch website.  


Sign up early for MnCUN's planning sessions

It's not too early to start thinking about planning sessions. The Network provides fee-based training and consultation to enhance development opportunities and credit union growth.

Some of the services offered include:

  • Strategic planning seminars;
  • Business plan development; and
  • On-site, customized training for volunteers, staff or management teams.

For more information on the Network's consultant services, visit the Planning Sessions page of the Network website


Minnesotans graduate from CUNA Management School

Five Minnesotans were among 75 credit union professionals who graduated from CUNA Management School in July. CUNA Management School is a three-year program designed to prepare executives to make a substantial, positive impact at their credit union.

Developed with the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Business, CUNA Management School helps credit union executives become dynamic and effective leaders. As the credit union movement's longest-running executive education program, CUNA Management School has provided leadership training to more than 4,800 credit union executives. Upon completion of this three-year program, students earn the Certified Credit Union Executive designation.

Minnesota graduates of the 2012 CUNA Management School include:

  • Melanie Bergl, CCUE, Minnesota Power ECU
  • Lisett Comai-Legrand,* CCUE, First Alliance CU
  • Pamela Evans, CCUE, First Alliance CU
  • John Heinen,* CCUE, Central Minnesota CU
  • Riley Snow, CCUE, Minnesota Power ECU 

*graduated with honors


Go Direct releases PSA on federal benefits

The U.S. Treasury Department Go Direct campaign has developed a new public service announcement that outlines the three steps federal benefit recipients can take to receive their funds through direct deposit and the Direct Express Debit MasterCard. All federal benefit recipients are required to set up electronic deposit of their Social Security and other federal benefit payments by March 1, 2013.

Currently, 90 percent of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are being made electronically, and the Treasury is urging the remaining 10 percent of people to make the switch to electronic payments as soon as possible. The public service announcement being run on television stations nationwide reviews the key steps recipients need to take to make the switch to the electronic system.

According to Department Treasurer Rosie Rios, the switch to electronic payments "is a win-win" for benefit recipients and taxpayers and would save $1 billion over 10 years. In addition to promoting electronic payments, Treasury is also touting the benefits of direct deposit through the Go Direct program.

CUNA, along with organizations around the country, is a Go Direct national partner and supports the check-safety and cost-savings goals for the program. For more information about the switch to electronic payments and federal benefits, visit the
Go Direct website. To watch the video, visit the Go Direct's YouTube channel.


Credit union recognition…

  • First Alliance Credit Union has received the 2012 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility. The credit union won this award for strategically using workplace flexibility to increase business and employee success. This is the fourth time First Alliance Credit Union has received this award.