On Thursday, December 19, 2019, Congress passed the RURAL Act, protecting more than 900 electric cooperatives throughout the nation from losing their tax-exempt status if they accept government grants for disaster relief, broadband service and other programs that benefit co-op member-owners.
The Senate’s vote to approve the legislation came two days after the House approved it as part of a sweeping tax and spending package. President Trump is expected to sign it into law.
Read more here: https://bit.ly/2SnCgZl
We at Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative are grateful that Congress has decided to stand up and show their support for millions of Americans by protecting the tax-exempt status of hundreds of non-profit electric cooperatives. We’d like to thank all of Oregon’s elected congressional delegates who set aside bipartisan politics and supported this vitally important bill that helps more than 500,000 rural Oregonians. Senator Ron Wyden, Congressman Greg Walden, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Congressman Peter DeFazio and Congressman Kurt Schrader, we appreciate all your help in stopping unintended severe tax penalties to electric cooperatives.
The passage of the RURAL Act protects co-op member-owners from possible increases in their electric rates and provides certainty that co-ops such as OTEC can leverage federal and state grants for Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) disaster recovery such as wildfire, rural broadband deployment, and community development, all of which are essential for the future of small communities across Eastern Oregon.
We’d also like to give a very special thanks to our member-owners for reaching out to their congressional delegates to help the cooperative voice be heard on this issue, it would not have been possible without you.