During years when the Co-op makes a profit, a portion (to be determined by the Board of Directors) will be returned to members in proportion to what you spent at the co-op – your “patronage”. Members who are paid in full and those whose payments are up-to-date will receive a full patronage rebate amount, as well as other member benefits. Members whose annual capitalization payments are not up-to-date will only receive the portion of their patronage rebate that exceeds the amount they are ‘behind’ in their payments. A patronage dividend is not required to be included in gross income if the member’s purchases from the Cooperative related to “personal, living or family items.” The patronage dividend would thus be taxable to a member only if his or her purchases related to the operation of a trade or business or other income-producing activities.
Equity is an investment in your co-op. A Member-Owner is fully vested at $200. Member-Owners may choose to pay that amount all at once, or may choose to capitalize their account in $25 increments to be paid annually. Your equity deposit remains your money, in your equity account. A member may resign the co-op and request their equity refund in writing*. Equity is refunded quarterly. Refunds will be made on or around May 31 (for those who filed by April 15), August 31 (for those who filed by July 15), November 30 (for those who filed by October 15) and February 28 (for those who filed by January 15).
*The Harvest Board of Directors may suspend or limit the redemption of member equity accounts upon a determination that such suspension or limitation is necessary to protect the financial security of the cooperative. Member Equity accounts are subordinate to the claims of creditors. Bad checks and other debts (of the member and any person in his/her household) may be deducted from the member’s equity account