WHAT ARE CAPITAL CREDITS?
As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, Carroll EMC returns excess operating revenue back to its Members in the form of capital credits. As you've heard before, Carroll EMC is owned by the Members it serves. Once you become a Member of the cooperative and pay the $15 membership fee, you also become part-owner. Capital credits represent each Member-owner’s share of Carroll EMC’s margins or operating revenue remaining after operating expenses. This is what sets us apart from investor-owned-utilities.
The Board of Directors announces the retirement of funds from a specific set of years, and the amount a Member receives is calculated based on their use of electricity for those years. Eligible Members will receive their check after the Board of Directors have finalized financial conditions. Members receive their capital credits as a check in the mail which can be cashed, deposited or applied as a credit to their electric account.
WHAT ARE UNCLAIMED CAPITAL CREDITS?
Unclaimed capital credits are simply those checks that have not been claimed by Members. The cooperative shares a list of Members whose checks were issued but were returned undeliverable or have otherwise been unclaimed.
CAPITAL CREDITS FAQs
Capital credits represent each Member-owner’s share of Carroll EMC’s margins, or operating income (operating revenue remaining after operating expenses).
We are required by our lending institutions to meet certain financial requirements to show that the cooperative is financially stable. However, all margins are allocated back to Member-owners.
The amount designated to each Member–owner is based on your energy purchases for the year. To calculate this, the co-op divides a Member’s energy purchase by the cooperative's operating income for the year. The more electricity you buy, the more capital credits you earn. For example, to approximately calculate capital credit refunds based on years 1991 and 1992, take your total payments for 2011 minus sales tax and multiply them by .039125 for 1991 and .01823 for 1992 and add them together.
During most months of the year, Carroll EMC receives more cash from operations than is necessary to pay for operating expenses. However, the cooperative also needs cash for servicing its debt (payments of principle and interest on money the cooperative has borrowed) and to pay for capital expenditures to improve and maintain the reliability of the electricity delivery system.
The distribution of capital credits and its effect on the financial wellbeing of the cooperative is an issue your board of directors deals with each year. It is the policy of the cooperative and the discretion of the board to return capital credits as long as the cooperative is financially fit to return them without additional borrowing or the need to raise rates to pay capital credits.
We suggest that you seek the advice of a tax professional for any specific questions regarding taxation.
Capital credit retirement checks are mailed to accounts based on the exact name and last known mailing address of each Member-owner. In some instances, Members may have closed an account and then reopened a new one with a name variation. The variation is treated as two separate accounts in our system. Issuing individual checks helps to ensure that each Member who should receive a check does. For accounts with identical information, the allocation for each year and for all accounts were combined into one total.
In the event that you receive a joint check and your spouse is now deceased, you may cash it. The law presumes that assets held jointly by a husband and wife are held by the entirety with right of survivorship.
Joint checks written to spouses who are now divorced cannot be negotiated without the agreement of both spouses on how the funds will be divided. Both will need to endorse the check, and if the check is negotiated with a false endorsement or forged signature, criminal prosecution could result.
The check should only be cashed by the person who is legally entitled and legally able to cash it. Please seek legal advice if you need further guidance.
If you would like to donate your capital credit check to Operation Round Up, Carroll EMC’s Member-funded program that provides financial assistance to community organizations, individuals in crisis situations and college scholarships, simply endorse your check and return it to Carroll EMC.