The Louisiana Legislature unanimously voted to pass bill HB 103, which will require Louisiana high school students to successfully complete a one-unit Financial Literacy course to graduate from high school and qualify for TOPS. 

This new requirement is a true win for financial wellness in our state. Over 43% of adults cannot afford a $400 emergency without borrowing funds and over half of working adults have no plan for retirement. Four out of ten households in America are living paycheck-to-paycheck or in poverty and are considered Asset Limited, Income Restrained, Employed, (ALICE) population. These are everyday working Americas struggling to make ends meet.

Basic financial education is a foundation for building long-term wealth. With the advent of debit cards, Apple Pay, and other online payment methods, many students have never seen a checkbook, or even thought about how to balance one. It’s imperative that students are exposed early and often to basic financial concepts and learn how to earn and manage their money wisely. HB 103 helps ensure that all future adults in Louisiana will have the training and resources to make better financial decisions after high school.

Advocating for the financial education of our youth is just one way that Pelican supports financial well-being throughout our state. Want to learn more about Pelican’s Financial Wellness Program? Click here to request more information or set up an appointment with one of our Nationally Certified Credit Counselors!

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!