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Co-OP Q & A
A member is any patron that is accepted for membership with Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation (hereinafter called the “Cooperative”), and each member shall have an ownership interest in the Cooperative. A patron is any entity which purchases wireline communications service from the Cooperative (or its wholly owned subsidiary, Chariton Valley Broadband, LLC) entitling the patron to capital allocations and/or retirements pursuant to Article XI. A customer is any other entity with which the Cooperative does business on a nonpatronage basis.
The Board shall determine the date, time and location for all meetings of the members. Written notice shall be rendered no less than 20 or more than 60 days before the date, time, and location set by the Board. The annual meeting is typically held in Macon during October, but is subject to change at the discretion of the Board. Annual Meeting is livestreamed thru Facebook for membership.
Yes. Electronic voting allows 100% of members an opportunity to vote from the convenience of their own homes without having to travel and has proven to be successful in increasing member participation. Since members can vote any time during the two week period, as opposed to a short three hour window, it furthers the opportunity for every member to be a part of the election process.
Every member will receive a letter from Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS), our election service provider, with instructions to follow and credentials (username and password) needed to vote.
• Members with a valid email on file with Chariton Valley will also receive this information by email.
• To protect the integrity of the election, Chariton Valley employees may not have any knowledge of members’ usernames or passwords. Therefore, we can only assist with accessing the SBS website. Any further assistance is not permitted.
The foundation of any successful cooperative is member trust. Failing to provide unbiased elections can leave Chariton Valley open to member scrutiny, negative publicity and even lawsuits. Survey & Ballot Systems is Chariton Valley’s election provider. SBS ensures elections are fair, transparent, efficient and effective.
A cooperative does not earn profits in the sense that other businesses do. Any telephone operating profits are allocated to members in the form of capital credits.
Your share of capital credits (profits) is based on patronage. Patronage is the amount of money you spend in services with the Chariton Valley Family of Companies (as long as it is on one bill.) The more business you do in a given year, the greater the share of profits allocated to your capital credit account.
Each member has a separate capital credit account, which represents the member’s ownership in the Cooperative. When capital credits are allocated at the end of a year, all members who received capital credits will receive an allocation statement showing their current year’s allocation and the outstanding balance of all the years’ ownership. You may also contact customer service at any time to inquire.
Your elected Board of Directors determines the amount of retirement (capital credits paid) annually, based on the financial condition of the Cooperative and other considerations. Each year the Board of Directors determines whether the co-op’s financial position permits the return, or retirement, of Capital Credits and, if so, what amount of Capital Credits will be retired. Capital Credit distributions are usually made in September. If you are an active, current customer your distribution will appear on your monthly invoice as a credit on your account. Otherwise, a check will be mailed.
A member who terminates service no longer receives additional Capital Credit allocations. The balance in the member’s Capital Credit account is maintained until it is retired in full. It is very important for former members, who are still owners of the cooperative, to inform our office of any changes in their mailing address and contact information.
Capital Credits in the member’s account belong to the member’s estate unless there is a “Transfer on Death” on file with Chariton Valley. To assist the member’s heirs in closing the estate, Chariton Valley offers a special Capital Credit retirement of the outstanding balance of the deceased member’s Capital Credit account, at a discount.
Annual capital credit disbursements are generally not taxable on individual tax returns. However, heirs receiving a discounted, full retirement of an estate’s capital credits may have a portion that is taxable. A 1099-MISC will be issued if the taxable income earned is over $600. We suggest you seek the advice of a tax professional for any specific questions.