Legislators had a busy fifth week on Capitol Hill as they pored over a variety of issues and this week is proving to be no different.
Early Monday morning the Senate concurred with the House in passing HJR1 “A Resolution Related to Financial Institutions.”
HJR1 seeks to have Congress re-evaluate rulings of the National Credit Union Administration as well as recognize and affirm the authority of states and local governments to determine whether federally chartered credit unions may be taxed the same as state chartered credit unions.
The resolution also urges Congress to provide “a principled, fair, and equitable tax structure for financial institutions that allows the state to determine what state and local taxes shall apply to financial institutions.” It requests that if Congress chooses to retain the current tax structure for financial institutions, it provide Utah and other states with an explanation and requests that Congress take into account revenues that may be lost to the state as a result of federal tax policy and regulations related to financial institutions.
After the Senate vote (15 for, 12 against, and 2 absent) the Utah League of Credit Unions turned in a petition that was signed by over 100,000 people.
It said “Since our beliefs and wishes were disregarded by those representatives (the state’s legislators who voted in favor of the resolution), we respectfully wish to make our voices heard by our federal representatives.”
The petition urged Utah’s federal representatives to continue their “strong support for credit unions and their continued partially tax-exempt, not-for-profit status.”
But the fact that the resolution passed had an opposite effect on Howard Headlee, president of the Utah Bankers Association. “This resolution stood on its own in the face of an unbelievably deceptive million-dollar media campaign,” he noted in a written statement.
“The fact that it passed both houses after months of being falsely attacked speaks highly of the work of the independent legislative task force that crafted it.”
In addition to HJR1 other items being considered this week range from child and family welfare revisions to charter school enrollment, tuition tax credits and smoking bans in bars and taverns.