Umatilla Electric Cooperative is operated on a not-for-profit basis. Electric cooperatives, unlike investor-owned utilities, are owned by the members they serve. When you pay your electric bill, you are accumulating equity in your cooperative.
All funds collected above the cost of operation (called margins) are annually assigned to our members in the form of Capital Credits. Margins are the funds left over at the end of the year after all bills are paid. Each year the board of directors, which are elected by the members, review our financial position and determines the most financially prudent amount of capital credits to pay out.
Whether your capital credit refund is taxable generally depends on whether or not you claimed your electric bills as a business expense. Most Capital Credit refunds for residential bills are not taxable; however, it would be wise to check with a tax accountant if you are in doubt. If you no longer receive electric service from Umatilla Electric, please keep us informed of changes in your mailing address so that any future refunds will reach you.
In a mailing sent in mid-December 2014, Umatilla Electric returned about $2.5 million to our membership, which represents the remaining 1996 and a portion of 1997 margins. Members who purchased power during those years received a check in proportion to how much they contributed. If you have questions regarding your capital credits, please call the office in Hermiston at 541-567-6414 or 541-481-2220 in Boardman. Our toll-free number is 1-800-452-2273.