OCTOBER 30, 2015
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Capitol at sunset GA Rep Speaks Out to Support
CU Reg Relief in Congressional Hearing
(Issue 1 of 5)

U.S. Rep. David Scott of Georgia spoke in support of credit unions during a U.S. House subcommittee hearing on several bills that would offer regulatory relief to the industry.

  Quick Coordinated Reaction to Address Emerging Issue
on EMV (Issue 2 of 5)

GCUA and other Georgia financial trade associations responded quickly to an effort by retailers to promote chip-and-PIN technology as the single solution to cybersecurity problems, instead advocating a multi-layered approach.

  Georgia House Hearing On Potential TAVT Changes
(Issue 3 of 5)

The Georgia House's Ways and Means Committee held a hearing to discuss possible changes to the state's TAVT tax on vehicles; of particular interest to credit unions was discussion of how vehicles are valued to calculate the tax.

  Elections - November 3rd (Issue 4 of 5)
Elections will be held around the state next week, and the winners of those elections will be determined by who votes. Find out what will be on your ballot and where you can go to vote.

  Credit Unions in the News (Issue 5 of 5)
The credit union message is getting out, as evidenced by coverage of the industry in a wide range of media outlets, from newspapers to magazines to the broadcast media.

Hike the Hill - Scott
U.S. Rep. David Scott, center, with Georgia credit union leaders during September's Hike the Hill
GA Rep Speaks Out to Support CU Reg Relief in Congressional Hearing (Issue 1 of 5)

Regulatory relief has been a frequent topic on Capitol Hill in the past two weeks; on October 27th a U.S. Senate Banking subcommittee heard testimony on the regulatory burden facing credit unions, and three credit union regulatory relief bills were discussed by the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit in a separate hearing on October 21st.  Those bills discussed in the House hearing were focused on how to help alleviate the compliance burdens credit unions face: 

  • H.R. 2473: Amend the Federal Home Loan Bank Act to ensure that eligibility requirements for similarly sized credit unions and banks are the same by including credit unions in the act’s definition of “community financial institution”;
  •  H.R. 2287: Require the NCUA to hold public hearings and accept public comment as part of the agency’s annual budget, prior to adoption, and
  •  H.R. 2896: Require federal regulatory agencies to shape regulations to fit the risk profile and business model of institutions.

During the hearing, Georgia Rep. David Scott (D-13) spoke out in support of credit unions, sharing that H.R. 2287 would help build a more positive relationship between the NCUA and the credit unions it regulates.  He is also a co-sponsor of the bill, and shared that “Our legislation would simply have the NCUA be held accountable for its budget, and would allow the credit unions they represent to take a more active role in its budget decisions,” adding that “I believe that our bill, with Rep. Mulvaney [(R-SC)], who introduced the bill] providing the leadership, will do just that.”  Our thanks to Rep. Scott for publicly addressing this topic, and to the credit unions who have shared the consistent message on the Hill to him that credit unions need relief!

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Chip cardQuick Coordinated Reaction
to Address Emerging Issue on EMV
(Issue 2 of 5)

In a matter of a few days, credit unions learned of an issue quickly developing across the country where retailers organized a letter from state attorneys general to call for all financial institutions to implement chip and PIN technology - mischaracterizing it as THE one way to eliminate ALL cyber security problems.  Credit unions have worked to educate members of Congress on the impact of data breaches, and this is just the most recent attempt by retailers to try to shift and redefine the issue.

Late last week GCUA learned that retailers were pushing chip and PIN in a handful of states, and started researching. In a matter of 24 hours the full picture of the issue was uncovered.  As such, GCUA has been in regular dialogue with the other two financial trade associations in Georgia to project a consolidated strategy and consistent message to Georgia’s Attorney General, Sam Olens, to withdraw support of the retailers’ efforts to implement a static payment security technology.  And, it’s a message that all four federal financial institution regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, cite: that a multi-layered approach, not the retailer-preferred chip-and-PIN route, is the best way to combat the ever-evolving world of cyber-theft. Stay tuned!

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Georgia SenateGeorgia House Hearing On Potential TAVT Changes (Issue 3 of 5)

On October 19th the House Ways and Means Committee of the state Legislature held a hearing during thes off-session dedicated to the auto tax; the TAVT tax.  The debate continues on several provisions of this now not-so-new method of taxation on autos, which was instituted to replace the annual motor vehicle ad valorem tax (commonly called the old “birthday tax” as it coincided with the car owner’s birthday.  Each year since the creation of the TAVT program, there have been minor changes pursued by the Legislature, and 2016’s session will see more of the same, as this hearing was to discuss potential changes to the TAVT as it applies to leases, moving into the state, how trade-ins are handled by dealers - and, of note to credit unions, how used vehicles are valued for the TAVT amount.

When the state originally converted from the birthday tax to the TAVT system, there were unforeseen challenges in some pockets of the state in terms of inconsistent  tax valuation by certain county tax offices. And while this was not statewide, any instance of tax un-clarity is a challenge.  GCUA quickly addressed this issue with the Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicle Division, and we will continue dialogue with them so that whatever changes the Legislature passes, the Department is consistent with its implementation.  And, these hearings will continue to be monitored to ensure that credit union auto lending procedures are not impacted.

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VoteElections - November 3rd (Issue 4 of 5)

The November 3rd election will feature races for several elected positions around the state.  And while you are likely aware of these based on the various campaign signs for city council, mayor, or even a special election for a state legislator, you can see what is on your ballot and find your voting location here.  It’s a simple thought, but one that has a large impact on your area and the state:  Elections are won based on who comes out to vote!

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NewsCredit Unions in the News (Issue 5 of 5)

Credit unions continue to earn media coverage statewide and beyond. Whether it’s in a local newspaper, niche magazine or radio show, the credit union message is shared through a multitude of outlets across Georgia. Click here to see recent coverage of Georgia’s credit unions "In the News."

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