US Mayors vote for postal banking, financial services; “trillion dollar issue,” says BankACT president.

DALLAS, TEXAS — At its June 20-23, 2014 annual meeting, the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) adopted a pair of resolutions endorsing postal banking, co-signed by eight mayors from six states. Their goal is to bring $1 trillion of job-creating economic stimulus primarily to low-income neighborhoods, over the next decade, at zero cost to taxpayers.

Post office-based financial services will generate sales tax revenues of as much as $3 billion a year, benefiting cities of the more than 200 mayors attending the USCM meeting, according to BankACT, a nonprofit advocacy group.

In one resolution, the USCM calls upon the United States Postal Service (USPS) to offer basic financial services, such as small payday loans and reloadable money cards. Payday lenders and other financial predators target low-income working families and retirees at exorbitant cost, totaling nearly $100 billion a year, noted BankACT president Marc Armstrong. “By offering inexpensive financial services,” he said, “the USPS can help drive out financial predators, restoring billions of dollars to low-income neighborhoods at no cost to taxpayers.”

The other USCM resolution urges the Postal Service to bring back once-popular postal savings accounts and use the deposits to help fund a national infrastructure bank. This specialized bank will reduce the high cost of financing public construction projects — a boon to local governments, Armstrong added, that can generate thousands of jobs.

The USCM resolutions were inspired by a January 2014 report by the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) citing payday lender abuses. The OIG report proposed that the Postal Service offer low-cost basic financial services, including small payday loans and savings accounts. It will especially help people who don’t currently use bank accounts.

Lead sponsor of the US Conference of Mayors postal banking resolutions was Virgil Bernero, Mayor of Lansing, Michigan. Co-signers were Mayors Paul Soglin (Madison, Wisconsin), Jean Quan (Oakland, California), Gayle McLaughlin (Richmond, California), Stephen Cassidy (San Leandro, California), Joy Cooper (Hallandale Beach, Florida), Dan Rizzo (Revere, Massachusetts) and Sal Panto (Easton, Pennsylvania).

“BankACT invites all mayors and other elected officials to take a stand with us on this trillion-dollar issue,” Armstrong said. The two postal banking resolutions and a slide briefing are available for download at postalpower.org.

About BankACT

BankACT (bankact.org) is a nonprofit organization advocating financial fairness via “public options” for banking and financial services. BankACT advocates postal banking as proposed by the Office of Inspector General of the US Postal Service. For information, visit bankact.org or write to info@bankact.org.

  • Stephen

    Ummm what sales tax? The USPS is a federal agency and therefore there is no sales tax on any transaction at a Post Office. You think mayors would how government works.

    • ben franklin

      If you get rid of predatory payday lenders and the like, the money that they used to siphon off in fees and interest stays in the community, where people get to spend it, producing increased sales tax revenue. It has nothing to do with PO transactions.

      • Stephen

        Granted, but not what was stated “Post office-based financial services will generate sales tax revenues of as much as $3 billion a year,…” It should have finished the statement with something along the lines of “based on redirected spending of moneys currently lost to predatory fees.”

        • ben franklin

          It’s correct as is. You’re the one who read into it something that was “not what was stated”. You assumed that it had to do with post office transactions, even though there is nothing to indicate that. You were wrong- get over it.

          • Stephen

            The entire article is about postal transactions in the form of postal banking. There is no assumption.

          • ben franklin

            You seem to have trouble reading, or understanding what you read. We’ve been discussing your mistaken assumption that the sales tax revenue referred to in the article derived from taxes on transactions at post offices, even though that is not stated anywhere in the article.

            Maybe “assumption” means something else on your planet, Here on earth we define it as “a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.”

  • Stephen

    Ummm what sales tax? The USPS is a federal agency and therefore there is no sales tax on any transaction at a Post Office. You think mayors would how government works.

    • ben franklin

      If you get rid of predatory payday lenders and the like, the money that they used to siphon off in fees and interest stays in the community, where people get to spend it, producing increased sales tax revenue. It has nothing to do with PO transactions.

      • Stephen

        Granted, but not what was stated “Post office-based financial services will generate sales tax revenues of as much as $3 billion a year,…” It should have finished the statement with something along the lines of “based on redirected spending of moneys currently lost to predatory fees.”

        • ben franklin

          It’s correct as is. You’re the one who read into it something that was “not what was stated”. You assumed that it had to do with post office transactions, even though there is nothing to indicate that. You were wrong- get over it.

          • Stephen

            The entire article is about postal transactions in the form of postal banking. There is no assumption.

          • ben franklin

            You seem to have trouble reading, or understanding what you read. We’ve been discussing your mistaken assumption that the sales tax revenue referred to in the article derived from taxes on transactions at post offices, even though that is not stated anywhere in the article.

            Maybe “assumption” means something else on your planet, Here on earth we define it as “a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.”