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Letters to the Hill

Thirty-two State Groups Endorse Communities First Act

May 4, 2005

Honorable Jim R. Ryun
Member of Congress
1110 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative Ryun:

The undersigned state community banker associations, representing more than 5,000 community banks nationwide, wish to go on record in strong support of your bill, H.R. 2061, the "Community Banks Serving Their Communities First Act," and express our gratitude to you for sponsoring this important legislative initiative.

The "Communities First Act" is critically important to promote the economic viability of local communities nationwide. Numerous studies show that community banks are disproportionately burdened by unnecessary record keeping and regulatory requirements. These burdens divert important resources from supporting small businesses, local lending and community development initiatives. Under the crush of regulatory burden and disproportionately high taxes, many community banks are struggling to remain competitive in their local markets against lightly regulated nonbank financial institutions and huge tax-exempt credit unions and farm credit associations.

The Communities First Act will address these issues by providing badly needed regulatory burden relief and tax reform that will enable community banks to better focus their resources on serving the financial needs of their customers and their communities.

We commend you, Rep. Ryun, for your leadership role on behalf of our nation's community bankers, and pledge to work with you towards enactment of this important legislation.

Sincerely,

The Community Bankers Association of Alabama
Arkansas Community Bankers
California Independent Bankers
Independent Bankers of Colorado
Community Bankers Association of Georgia
Community Bankers Association of Illinois
Community Bankers Association of Indiana
Iowa Independent Bankers
Community Bankers Association of Kansas
Heartland Community Bankers Association
Bluegrass Bankers Association (BBA) in Kentucky
Community Bankers of Louisiana
Maine Association of Community Banks
Michigan Association of Community Bankers
Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota
Missouri Independent Bankers Association
Montana Independent Bankers
Nebraska Independent Community Bankers
Independent Community Bankers Association of New Mexico
Independent Bankers Association of New York
Independent Community Banks of North Dakota
Community Bankers Association of Ohio
Community Bankers Association of Oklahoma
Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers
Independent Banks of South Carolina
Independent Community Bankers of South Dakota
Independent Bankers Division/ Tennessee Bankers Association
Independent Community Bankers Association of Texas
Virginia Association of Community Banks
Washington Independent Community Bankers Association
West Virginia Association of Community Bankers
Community Bankers of Wisconsin




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