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Open letter to Congress, Oklahoma delegation, from Oklahoma banker

I was recently in D.C. with 70 fellow bankers. During our visit, Rep. Lucas took time out of his busy schedule to meet with us for a few minutes. His dedication is greatly appreciated.

During our visit, a hot topic was tax reform. As I understand it, the bill would have an easier road if it were revenue neutral. I have two ideas that might help with that. First, recently, a massive 1099 reporting requirement was put on the books and then removed, which I applauded, however, I do agree that livestock sale barns should 1099 sales. I was in public accounting for 13 years before entering banking and I think this would be a revenue generator.

Secondly, I suggest the unrelated business income tax for non-profits be enforced. For example, credit unions were established in the 1930s to provide small dollar loans and financial services to people of modest means within a defined group. Last year, 52 percent of mortgages originated by credit unions were to upper-income consumers. Mortgages are not small dollar loans. In addition, credit unions "expand" the rules to allow anyone as a member and advertises such in ads. Modest means is defined annually by HUD and income levels are posted on the HUD site. Last year alone, Tinker Federal Credit Union would have paid $7.6 million in taxes. Not only would enforcing taxation of activities above the entities' approved tax-exempt status help balance Federal tax reform with NO NEW taxes, it would also benefit the State of Oklahoma as pass-through taxable income helping to solve our state's budget crisis and, I hope, give teachers the pay they deserve.

I thank you in advance for your consideration.

Humbly,

Sandy Werner
CEO — First National Bank & Trust of Elk City
Vice Chairman — OBA

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