POINT OF VIEW Credit unions twist truth in attempt to expand powers


I found the opinion piece by Patrick LaPine, president of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates, — published in The Palm Beach Post — “Point of View: Lawmakers can give local government depository choice,” March 10 — misleading and self-serving.

The government gave credit unions their tax-free status because they were to be nonprofits that had a limited customer base, laying the groundwork for an uneven playing field. Now, they are back asking the government to do even more by letting them once again expand their powers by accepting public deposits, such as those from local governments, school boards, universities and colleges.

It is the height of irony that the credit unions are asking the government to let them accept public deposits, which are the same tax revenues that they do not contribute. Why should the government create a more unlevel playing field by letting credit unions hold these tax revenues?

Most banks pay as much as 40 percent in state and federal corporate income taxes; credit unions pay nothing. LaPine misrepresented the facts, highlighting that credit unions pay typical employer taxes while failing to mention that, unlike any business in America, credit unions pay absolutely nothing in state and federal corporate income taxes. Florida small businesses pay more in those corporate taxes and, in addition, pay sales, income and intangible taxes — none of which credit unions pay.

LaPine continues his fallacious argument by stating that Chapter S chartered community banks, like credit unions, are exempt from paying corporate income taxes. The truth is that for Chapter S, a benefit allowed for many small businesses, the owners pay the state and federal taxes while credit unions pay nothing.

The reality is that credit unions are looking to further expand their powers even though their charters clearly state they are designed to serve individuals with a common bond and of modest means.

There is room for both credit unions and banks to compete and thrive, but we should do so on a level and fair playing field. Why don’t large credit unions pay taxes to support the needs of our state and nation, like the war on terror, defense needs, the needs of our children and seniors, our transportation needs, and all the other needs we have? Banks do.

Until credit unions pay their fair share of taxes, the government should not pick winners and losers in the economy and credit unions shouldn’t be able to accept taxpayers’ public deposits.

ALEX SANCHEZ, TALLAHASSEE

Editor’s note: Alex Sanchez is president and CEO of the Florida Bankers Association.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Letters: District wrong to ban charter schools from showcase
Letters: District wrong to ban charter schools from showcase

The Palm Beach County School District’s war on charter schools took a shameful turn when the school district banned charter schools from their annual “Showcase of Schools.” (District Bans Charter School From Showcase, Wednesday) Being prevented from participating in the event, which highlights a variety of specialized classes available...
Editorial: Throngs, snarls attest to economic disparities around us
Editorial: Throngs, snarls attest to economic disparities around us

Like the way that winds can blow off a roof to expose the contents of a house, a disaster like Hurricane Irma can rip through a community and show us what’s within. We got such a peeled-back view over the last few days as thousands upon thousands of people lined up at three designated parks in Palm Beach County to receive short-term food assistance...
POINT OF VIEW: Protect Florida from illegal hotel operators

All Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association lodging members must register with the state, collect taxes, and protect Florida consumers through adequate insurance — rules that prevent substandard operators from exposing travelers and residents to senseless risk and gaining unfair advantages in the marketplace. Unfortunately, the same does not...
Commentary: Focus on real issue behind NFL protests: racial injustice
Commentary: Focus on real issue behind NFL protests: racial injustice

Editor’s note: A version of this column originally appeared in The Palm Beach Post’s Opinion Zone blog on Sept. 28. UPDATE: In the weeks following the blog post, discussion has increasingly returned to the original reason for the anthem protests — calling attention to racial injustice, and a rash police shootings of unarmed black...
Palm Beach Post editorial cartoon: Oct. 22
Palm Beach Post editorial cartoon: Oct. 22

CARTOON VIEW DAVID HORSEY
More Stories