Pelican Board and team members attended the State Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in April to share the credit union difference with our state legislators alongside 25 other Louisiana credit unions. During this event, we learned about new legislation affecting credit unions and banks that would be presented during the 2024 legislative session. We also met with our elected officials at the State Capitol to share how credit unions serve our communities throughout Louisiana.

One issue that Pelican shared with every elected official we met was the crisis with insurance. Many credit union employees and members throughout the state are finding it hard to pay their mortgage and the high cost of homeowners insurance. We encouraged our lawmakers to find ways to make insurance more affordable in Louisiana. Lawmakers have the ability to regulate insurance companies and help alleviate families having to decide between paying their mortgage and paying for insurance. Though we cannot directly affect these issues, we will continue to advocate for our members to have better and more cost- conscious options in the future.

Remember that everyone’s voice matters! The best way to make your voice heard is to communicate with your legislators directly, and vote. State and local officials are often closer to their districts and connect with them regularly. Get out and meet them at events, call, or email to share your concerns on upcoming bills you’ve heard about on the news. Remember that local and state elections can be decided by a handful of votes, so get out and vote to make your voice heard.

You can register to vote and learn which elected officials represent you through the Geaux Vote App available in Google Play and the Apple Store or the Louisiana Secretary of State website.

Pelican’s Board and team members are committed to advocating for our members regularly, at local, state, and national levels. Get involved and share your concerns with your local officials today!

What is a Credit Union?
Unlike banks, credit unions are not-for-profit and member-owned. This means that any money we make is passed on to our members in the form of better rates, higher dividends, and improved products and services. When you open a primary share with Pelican, you're required to keep a minimum of $5 in it. This represents your share of the credit union and allows you to vote on important issues, such as the election of member representatives to serve on the board of directors.

What is the Purpose of Credit Union?
Credit unions were created to promote thrift and provide credit to members. In fact, many credit unions were started by people of ordinary means who couldn't get approved by their local bank! Credit unions also work together to do good in the communities they serve. 

Why are Credit Unions Tax Exempt?
In short, credit unions are tax exempt because they are not-for-profit, a lot like churches. We don't exist to profit off of our members. We continue to serve all of our members, including low-income consumers who are often neglected by traditional financial institutions or targeted by predatory lenders.

In fact, because of our dedication to our members and their individual situations, Pelican has been recognized as a Low-Income Designated Credit Union (LID) and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Why Is It Important that Credit Unions Remain Tax Exempt?
A tax on credit unions is not just a tax on a not-for-profit business—it’s also a tax on over 100 million credit union members across America. The tax exempt status for credit unions is not a benefit to the company, it’s a benefit that credit union members get to enjoy—to the tune of almost $10 billion each year.

Don’t forget—credit unions are still participants in a very competitive financial services market. Credit unions and small, local community banks are competing against large national for-profit banks and other financial service chains. By eliminating the tax status, many credit unions and community banks would be forced out of the market and others will be unable to offer competitive rates and serve those that are unbanked.

If credit unions are taxed, there would be no incentive for them to remain not-for-profit. Smaller credit unions would be unable to stay afloat and serve their members and would likely disband, causing people across the country to lose the only sector of the financial industry not driven by profit.

Does Pelican Pay Any Taxes?
While we may be tax exempt, we DO pay taxes. We pay property taxes, tangible personal property taxes, payroll taxes and more to the government. As Louisiana’s largest state-chartered credit union, we also pay unrelated business income tax. Not only do we pay taxes, but members like you also pay taxes on the interest your accounts earn.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding credit unions' tax exempt status. We're more than happy to help answer them for you!