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New York News

Credit Unions & Local Leaders For Tax Deposit Reform

By Dave Lucas

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-896388.mp3

Albany, NY – Credit Unions across New York State are intensifying their efforts to promote legislation favoring "municipal deposit choice" - Capital Disitrict Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings and Albany County Executive Michael Breslin stand beside Capital Region credit unions, including SEFCU and Capital Communication Federal Credit Union in urging lawmakers to allow the option of depositing tax dollars in local credit unions and community savings banks. Bill Mellin, president of the Credit Union Association of New York, says that reform would allow local governments, school districts, even fire departments to choose where tax collections are deposited. Mayor Jennings is confident reform would trigger competition. Albany County Executive Mike Breslin believes the ability to use credit unions for banking tax dollars should be in the hands of all municpalities, but there IS opposition : the New York Bankers Association issued a statement - quoting now "At a time when the State of New York needs every penny to help balance its budget, we strongly oppose any new competitive advantages for credit unions, particularly those that come at the expense of the State's taxpayers." Commercial banks also object, arguing that credit unions' tax-exempt status, should bar them from being empowered to accept taxpayer dollars from local governments.

The Credit Union Association of New York says it has endorsements for its bill from several public trades including the New York State Conference of Mayors, the Associations of Towns and Counties, the New York School Boards Association, the Fireman's Association of New York and the New York Library Association.