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Mutual Aid Bill Passes Senate Unanimously

March 21, 2018The 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.

Co-op Difference |
A Solid Session

The Wisconsin Legislature on March 22 wrapped up regular business for a two-year session, in which the Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association had significant accomplishments.

An early issue was Governor Walker’s budget item eliminating stray voltage programs at the Public Service Commission and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Hard work netted a 16–0 Joint Finance Committee vote to preserve the programs, so the objective expertise associated with the relevant staff positions is retained. Changes to program funding wouldn’t be unwarranted, but our work on the budget bill helped prevent deterioration.

Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News

The Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News serves as the voice of the state’s rural electric cooperatives. Founded in 1940, the publication focuses on statewide issues that affect electric cooperatives, promoting the general welfare of Wisconsin’s electric cooperatives, their member-owners, and the areas they serve.

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