Credit unions were created to provide financial services in a democratic, not-for-profit, cooperative manner—that is, with member ownership and control. Those unique characteristics are the foundation of the tax exemption. You may not even realize that your credit union doesn't pay federal and corporate income tax.
Some bankers and their trade associations are asking legislators to tax credit unions, even though it was only banks that needed and took huge government bailouts. And the truth is, a tax hike on credit unions would be a tax hike on all American consumers.