OCTOBER 21, 2016
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NCUA Discussion Session Between Credit Unions and NCUA (Issue 1 of 5)
Representatives of several Georgia credit unions met this week with the National Credit Union Administration's Region III director and her key staff to discuss issues including the regulatory landscape, examinations, cybersecurity and others.

  Chattahoochee Chapter Legislative Night (Issue 2 of 5)
The Chattahoochee Valley Credit Union Chapter's annual Legislative Night included visits from several state and federal elected officials, giving chapter credit unions the opportunity to share the credit union message.

  State Hearing on Tax Reform (Issue 3 of 5)
The third off-session hearing held by the state Senate's Finance Subcommittee on Tax Reform focused on the possibility of Georgia's shifting its tax structure from an income tax-based model on one based on sales and use taxes.

  Building Relationships with Legislators (Issue 4 of 5)
Several recent in-district fundraisers gave Georgia credit union advocates the chance to cultivate personal connections with state legislators who deal with issues of importance to the industry.

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

Discussion Session Between Credit Unions and NCUA (Issue 1 of 5)

FolderThis week amid the International Credit Union day celebrations, credit unions in Georgia held a meeting with NCUA Region III Director Myra Toeppe and her key staff on October 17th. This discussion session was orchestrated by GCUA to engage the regulators on their view of the industry landscape, dissect the various regulatory pressure points felt at credit unions (and look for ways to relieve them), and gain insight on what is anticipated with upcoming exams and regulations.

Engaging with NCUA in this manner helps illustrate precisely how credit unions are impacted, on a daily basis, by the regulations they face, and helps instill an open dialogue to bring real-life examples of how the regulatory burdens on the industry can be improved. In the course of conversation, the group tackled multiple issues of importance to credit unions:

  • NCUA exams: timing, inconsistencies, and what issues to expect from auditors in 2017,
  • The ever-growing importance of cybersecurity and what NCUA anticipates,
  • Call report revisions on the horizon,
  • The CFPB’s payday lending rules, overdraft protection rules, and the overall working relationship between NCUA and this fellow federal agency, and
  • NCUA’s new field of membership rules and MBL rules, implementation, and if the banking industry lawsuit has tempered NCUA’s thoughts on the proposal.

Thank you to credit union leaders from Atlanta Postal CU, CDC FCU, CGR CU, Delta Community CU, GEMC FCU, Kinetic FCU, MembersFirst CU, Peach State FCU and Platinum FCU for sharing their insight and time with NCUA’s regional leadership.

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From left: Angi Harben, GCUA; U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop; Wanda Rutledge, Kinetic CU
Chattahoochee Chapter Legislative Night (Issue 2 of 5)

Consistently engaging with area legislators helps grow the relationship elected leaders have with the industry, and credit unions do this in a variety of ways: inviting them to credit union events, attending the D.C. Hike the Hill or area Hike at Home meetings, connecting with them at local chamber meetings or civic groups – the list is truly endless. One example of how to connect consistently is to hold an annual "legislative night" of the credit union chapter to help build on the relationships the industry has year over year.

Our thanks to the Chattahoochee Valley Credit Union Chapter that held its annual legislative night on Thursday, October 13th, which included a mixture of both state and federal elected officials. Those joining the credit unions were U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-2)State Sen. Ed Harbison (D-Columbus)State Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus), and Colin Martin, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-3). This meeting was a successful avenue to share the positive impact credit unions have on the community, promote the "helping people afford life" message, and strengthen relationships with the area legislators.

The Chattahoochee Chapter consistently invites their legislators to join them in October each year, providing all of the legislators an opportunity to speak briefly about the issues they see in the area and in the state. This type of consistent connection between elected leaders and the industry benefits all credit unions for years to come, building the legislators’ overall understanding of the value of credit unions in their district!

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TaxationState Hearing on Tax Reform
(Issue 3 of 5)

On Friday, October 7th the State Senate Finance subcommittee on Tax Reform held its third hearing of the off session, this time in Dalton to hear presentations on how the state could potentially shift to more of a sales and use tax structure as opposed to income tax. During the hearing there were various presenters opposing tax credits (such as the film tax credit), arguments on how to raise sales tax and/or put the tax back on groceries, and a general desire among several to shift Georgia’s state tax to consumption-based as opposed to income-based. While no one has implicated the credit union income tax exemption in their remarks, any and all tax exemptions can be scrutinized in such a process (such as sales tax and real estate intangibles tax). GCUA will continue to monitor these hearings closely, as a non-election year could be more advantageous to make any changes to tax code regardless of internal opposition in state leadership. Stay tuned!

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Building Relationships with Legislators (Issue 4 of 5)

Personal connections with legislators are either something that one has before an individual starts seeking office and is elected, or something that is cultivated and grown organically afterward by consistent, regular involvement (and finding shared personal connections to build commonality along the way). These relationships are vital. When legislators have a relationship with the industry, it impacts how they view legislation, how they consider bills, and what types of actions they take – which can impact how your credit union operates.

MidSouth Community FCU CEO Roy Bibb, right, and team members Eric Bobo (left) and David Bass (center)

Here are three of the most recent examples of credit unions cultivating the personal connections with their legislators:

  • On Monday, October 10th MidSouth Community FCU participated with the in-district fundraiser for State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon). Peake is a member of the powerful House Rules Committee that decides what bills are considered for a vote, and serves as vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which addresses all tax legislation. Our thanks to MidSouth Community FCU for sharing their time and finding a personal connection to help grow the relationship and level of influence of credit unions!
  • On Thursday, October 13th LGE Community CU attended the in-district fundraiser for State Rep. Sam Teasley (R-Marietta). Teasley is a member of the House Banking Committee, which addresses many of the bills that apply to credit union operations, and the above mentioned House Ways and Means Committee, and serves as vice chairman of the House Majority Caucus. This relationship is a great example of having a strong connection credit union connection before someone even runs for office, as Teasley’s late father served on the board of LGE Community CU. Our thanks to LGE Community CU for not only bringing this connection to light, but also for consistently growing the relationship with Teasley for years.
  • On Thursday, October 13th CGR CU participated with the in-district fundraiser for State Sen. Burt Jones (R-Jackson) and State Rep. Trey Rhodes (R-Greensboro). Jones is the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and is the sole individual who decides what bills that committee addresses, and Rhodes serves on the House Banking Committee. This year marks the second in a row that CGR CU has engaged in this event, something that helps grow the legislators’ relationship with the industry. Our thanks to CGR for instilling consistent visual support and reminding these legislators of the importance of the industry.
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VoteCredit 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."

Also in the news: Love My Credit Union "Share the Love" video campaign voting is underway! To vote for the Georgia credit unions please click here, and to view GCUA’s Helping People Afford life video (and vote) please click here.

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