One of the perks of being an Oryana member/owner is that you may receive a patronage rebate. Read below to learn more about patronage rebates.
What is a patronage rebate?
Co-ops are distinctive businesses based on member ownership, which allows them to return excess profit to their members as rebates that are tax-free. These rebates are called “patronage” rebates because they are based on how much member/owners “patronized” or spent at the Co-op the previous fiscal year. By law patronage rebates can only come from member income (not non-member purchases) and be allocated based on each member’s purchases (patronage) at the co-op. The profit returned to member/owners as rebates are funds not needed for new member services or future projects.
How does it work?
Throughout the year the co-op tracks how much each member/owner spends, which is why we ask for member cards at checkout. Generally, if the co-op has made a profit in excess of what it needs to operate, it may return a percentage of that profit back to its member/owners. The Board of Directors determines what percent of the profit will be returned to member/owners and what percent is retained by the co-op, considering the recommendations of the General Manager.
Why isn’t all the profit returned to member/owners?
The co-op needs to retain some of the profit as a financial cushion for lean years or to finance expansion or other member services. Although member/owners do not receive this profit as a cash rebate, they, in effect, jointly invest more money to grow the co-op and provide more of the services they want. There may be years when no patronage is returned due to a project or other immediate need of the co-op.
What do members need to do?
You need to show your membership card every time you make a purchase so we can track what you have spent during the year. You will need to keep your membership current and let us know if your address changes.
When can members expect a patronage rebate?
Once the fiscal year ends (December 31st,) the co-op utilizes the first quarter of the following year to finalize its year-end financials and evaluate its needs, with an announcement about the patronage rebate set for the General Membership meeting in April.