Bankers, credit union leaders swarm Capitol looking for tax solution

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Bank and credit union leaders are in a spat that led them to swarm the state Capitol on Thursday to make their voices heard.

The Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance is studying whether to fix, what some call, a growing disparity between local banks and credit unions.

Currently, credit unions are allowed to operate tax-free while banks must pay a privilege tax.

Banks owners claim they are unable to compete with the tax-exempt credit unions. They said equality will create jobs and allow banks to give more back to their communities.

Senator Robert Olson is the chairperson for the committee. He said that they are hoping to find a resolution that will work for both sides.

“We’re going to look at it and if there needs to be a correction or leveling of the playing field, we will move a bill forward,” explains Olson. “If not… this is their opportunity to explain to us if we need to do that or not.”

The committee is currently considering two Senate bills. One would reduce the privilege tax on banks while the other would require larger credit unions, with assets over 100 million dollars, to also pay a tax.

This would only affect a handful of credit unions in the state.

Senator Olson said the committee will present a report to the Senate who can then choose to make a decision when session returns in January.

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