ATR President Grover Norquist today sent the following letter to the U.S. House and U.S. Senate:

As you continue to develop a conference report for legislation which seeks to impose new regulations on America’s financial sector, I especially wanted to object to a “bank tax” which reports indicate you may be considering.

According to legislative language made available to the public, this new “bank tax” would empower the FDIC to impose assessments on banks in order to make up for a shortfall in TARP repayments.

This would be both bad public policy, and unfair.  It requires healthy, responsible banks to subsidize the irresponsibility of other institutions which have received bailout funds, but have not sufficiently reformed themselves to the point where these funds can be recouped for taxpayers.  The capital and assets of these delinquent companies should pay for their debts to taxpayers, not the resources of totally-innocent third party banks.

Americans for Tax Reform views this “bank tax” as just that—a tax increase.  The FDIC, which is a government agency, is compelling the payment of funds to the Treasury in order to meet general obligations.  This is clearly a tax increase, and should be opposed by all Congressmen and Senators who claim to be on the side of taxpayers.  Ultimately, the costs imposed by this new tax will be seen by the public in the form of higher fees, lower savings interest rates, and higher interest rates on mortgages and car loans.