Member Owner News

Board Announces Patronage Refund

The Skagit Valley Food Co-op Board of Directors is proud to declare a Patronage Refund to Co-op Member-Owners based on their 2019 purchases. Patronage refund announcements are sent by mail, so look for yours sometime in the first weeks of May. If you receive a Patronage Refund, please consider donating it to Skagit Valley Food Distribution Center. Skagit Valley Food Distribution Center supplies food to our 15 area food banks and 4 meal programs. The impact of COVID-19 makes the need to feed hungry families more urgent than ever. To donate, please email or call us at 360.336.5087 x150 with your name and member number and let us know you want to give your funds back to the Food Distribution Center.

You can also redeem your refund the next time you shop. Just tell your cashier you want to use your refund when you’re checking out. Simple as that!

Please donate or redeem your refund by July 29, 2020. Otherwise, your store credit becomes taxable for the Co-op and you forfeit your patronage refund.

So What is a Patronage Refund?

A Patronage Refund is profit-sharing, plain and simple: a portion of the profit returned to you, the owner.

The long explanation? Patronage Refund is like a dividend. It is determined by a percentage of the Co-op’s profit from the previous fiscal year. The Board of Directors allocates the total amount, and a refund for eligible Owners who were in good standing for the fiscal year in question is calculated based on their purchases, or patronage, during that year. (That means the more you purchase at your Co-op, the more of a refund you are likely to receive.) A patronage refund is not a guarantee each year… the store has to make a profit and the Board has to determine that it is a financially viable decision. The amount will vary from year to year, as needs and profits do.

A percentage of the refund (determined by the Board of Trustees) is held back from distribution and stays in the Co-op. It belongs to the members as a group, to further build the Co-op and promote our practices, until such time as the Board opts to return it to the individual owners.

Under Internal Revenue Code section 1385 (b) (2), dividends received for purchases made for personal, living or family purposes are exempt from taxable income. If you made purchases for business purposes, however, you might want to consult your tax advisor about whether your allocation should be reported as income or if your expense deduction or property basis should be adjusted.

The 2020 refund is based on 2019 profits and allocated according to 2019 member-owner purchases, and can be redeemed for merchandise. If you prefer to donate your refund to Skagit Valley Food Distribution Center or to receive your refund as a check, please email, call 360.336.5087 x150, or fill out a request form at the registers and be sure to include the following information:

Full Name
Member # (found at the top of your Patronage Refund letter)
Phone Number
Whether you’d prefer to donate your refund or receive a check

Please note, check requests will take approximately three weeks to process.

If you have additional questions about your Patronage Refund, please email or call 360.336.5087 x150.

Thank you for your support, which makes Patronage Refunds possible. It is great to be able to keep more of our money in our community.

By: Co-op Staff

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