Rope bill gets Senate committee nod
February 7, 2018—The Senate version of a proposal eliminating the state sales and use tax on labor and materials furnished between electric and telecommunications cooperatives in mutual-aid situations was endorsed for passage this week by the Senate Committee on Revenue, Financial Institutions, and Rural Issues. The vote in a Thursday morning executive session recommending passage was 5–0.
The same committee held a public hearing on the bill (SB-501) Wednesday morning and took testimony from Barron Electric Cooperative General Manager Dallas Sloan, Adams-Columbia Electric Co-op Accountant Liz Hendricksen, and Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association Government Relations Director Beata Wierzba. No one testified in opposition to the bill.
Legislature advances mutual aid billJanuary 9, 2018—The Wisconsin Legislature is moving forward with a bill creating a sales and use tax exemption for mutual assistance services performed by electric cooperatives or telecommunications utilities during a disaster period. Seen here, Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association Government Relations Director Beata Wierzba makes a point concerning Assembly Bill 583 during a January public hearing of the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities. Flanking Wierzba at left and right are Adams-Columbia Electric Cooperative CEO Jay Porter and Barron Electric General Manager Dallas Sloan, both of whom presented testimony describing the value of mutual aid among utilities and the effect of taxing materials previously taxed and labor provided in assisting disaster recovery.
Co-op law revisions signed
November 27, 2017—Cooperative leaders gathered in Madison the Monday after Thanksgiving to witness Governor Walker applying his signature to changes in Wisconsin’s Chapter 185 co-op law, approved earlier in November by bipartisan majorities in both legislative houses. The last major revision of state law applying to cooperative governance took place in the 1980s, and the more modest recent changes update existing provisions. The most significant provision for electric cooperatives simplifies their existing authority to make consumer loans to their members to finance work by third parties for energy efficiency and conservation improvements, to improve electrical safety or achieve code compliance, or for emergency backup generation.
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Once a year, for all the year
One of the seven cooperative principles our member electric co-ops apply to guide their business practices is Democratic Member Control. The practical intent of this principle is that cooperatives are to be democratically self-governing organizations controlled by their members.