Mutual Aid Bill Passes Senate UnanimouslyMarch 21, 2018—The Wisconsin State Senate voted 32–0 in favor of a bill that exempts electric cooperatives from sales and use tax for mutual assistance services they perform during disaster recovery. As the bill voted on in the Senate was the Assembly version, which passed in January; the final step for the bill is, being signed into law by the governor.
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 bill
January 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.
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Principled and Prepared
Regular readers of Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News know we make frequent reference to “the seven cooperative principles” that are intended to guide the governance practices and daily operations of every co-op business, whether of the electric variety or any other.
Most often mentioned is “concern for community,” (principle number 7) because it comes into play whenever our member cooperatives award scholarships to local students, lend a hand in a local project, or step up to encourage—and sometimes directly assist—economic growth in the communities they serve, as well as when some unusual need arises.