Election Hot Topics
Electric Co-op Tax Exempt Status
Most of America’s electric cooperatives are tax exempt organizations under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(12). In order to maintain tax exempt status, an electric cooperative must receive at least 85 percent of all income from its members. P.L. 115-97 amended Section 118 of the IRC to provide that contributions to a corporation by a non-shareholder government entity or civic group is no longer considered capital. Under prior tax law, such contributions were capital and excluded from the income of a corporation.
Protect Power Marketing Administrations and TVA
PMAs are an important source of renewable energy for more than 600 co-ops serving communities across 34 states. The Administration’s budget proposal calls for the sale of PMA and TVA transmission assets, as well as changing the rate structure from a cost-based system to a market-based system. This change would jeopardize the affordability of electricity for more than 100 million Americans. Requiring consumers to pay more than is necessary for electricity is harmful to millions of consumers that depend on this energy resource.
Support the Infrastructure Needs of Rural Communities
Electric cooperatives support bipartisan efforts to develop a robust infrastructure package that improves the economic outlook in America’s rural communities. As owners of critical infrastructure, electric co-ops play an important role in our nation’s economy–supporting 612,000 American jobs and generating $88 billion annually toward U.S. GDP. Congress should look beyond urban centers and traditional improvements such as roads and bridges as an infrastructure proposal takes shape. Congress should support three key infrastructure investments: 1) modernize the grid; 2) expand rural broadband access; and 3) electrify the economy.
Broadband for Rural America
High-speed internet access is the gateway to the world, allowing access to greater educational opportunities for our children, job prospects that we might not otherwise have, and connectivity for the ever-growing world of smart devices. However, as each day passes without access to broadband in large parts of rural America, the digital divide widens and leaves some rural communities behind. As advocates for the nation’s rural electric cooperatives, we can make sure that federal dollars are used to support our communities in rural America that need this vital connection. Congress recently designated $600 million for use in rural broadband grants and loans. But that is just the beginning. Tell your candidates to support significant funding to help bring high speed internet access to rural America.
For further information or a complete list of issues affecting electric cooperatives, please visit action.coop.