You may be thinking that it is time to see a Patronage Rebate check in your mailbox in return for your support of your local natural foods co-operative. Unfortunately, we regret to announce that patronage rebate checks will not be issued for the most recent fiscal year of June 30, 2013 through June 28, 2014. We did have a very small profit, but one that does not feasibly warrant a rebate to the owners due to the costs associated with the process and the minimal dollar values each check would represent.
What About These Patronage Rebates? Your Questions Answered
How did you figure out how much my rebate was?
The percentage of profit available for patronage rebates is based on the percentage of total sales attributable to owners. Because we are able to track our sales to owners at point of sale, we know the total percent of sales to owners for any given fiscal year. Therefore, that percentage of the total profit is available for rebate.
Who decides how much to rebate?
The IRS requires New Leaf Market Co-op to return a minimum of 20% of the profits generated by the owners. The Board of Directors has the discretion to return up to 100%.
How much has the Board of Directors elected to return this year?
For the fiscal year June 30, 2013 - June 28, 2014 the Board of Directors determined a rebate on the small profit achieved would cost the Co-op more than it would be a benefit.
What do you do with the percentage of profit that the Board of Directors does not issue back to the owners?
The money that is not returned to you, known as “retained patronage,” will be used for reinvestment in the business.
What about the profits generated by non-owners?
It is also retained by the Co-op for reinvestment in the business. This money, along with owners retained patronage, ensures that we have enough to cover operating costs, capital expenditures and emergencies. It also means that we are less dependent on interest accruing bank loans to achieve our goals.
In the event the Co-op makes a profit, when will I get my check?
According to our by-laws, New Leaf Market Co-op is required to mail rebate checks within eight months and fifteen days following the close of the fiscal year.
I shopped, but I didn’t get a check. Why not?
There are several reasons why you may not have received a check.
- The store did not make a profit, or enough of one, and therefore did not issue rebate checks.
- Do we have your current mailing address? If your check is returned to the Co-op you may need to pick it up here. Checks are void after 90 days.
- Checks that are for less than two dollars are not mailed in order to save money on postage. You may check at customer service if your rebate was held, and acquire it if available.
- If you have not received your check and want to inquire on its whereabouts, you may fill out the Patronage Rebate Check Request form which you will find at the customer service desk and someone will contact you.
- If you joined after the end of the fiscal year, June 28, 2014 your purchases will not be eligible for rebate until the end of the next fiscal year, June 27, 2015.
I got a patronage rebate check. Do I have to include it as income on my tax return?
No, as long as the products you purchased during the year were for your own personal consumption.
Can I cash my check at New Leaf Market Co-op?
Yes! You may also use it as a credit against your purchases the next time you’re in the store. Of course, you may also present it at your bank for cash or deposit. Please note that your check will become void after 90 days if not cashed. As well, all issued checks that go unused, whether cashed, deposited, or donated back to the Co-op (endorsed to NLMC), must be turned over to the state as unclaimed property. You are encouraged to use it!
Tell me again why patronage rebates are a good thing.
Like all true cooperative businesses, New Leaf Market Co-op operates according to the Principles of Cooperation. These lead us directly to patronage rebates by stating that the economic results (profit) arising from the owners, belong to the ownership in direct proportion to their patronage. This ensures that no owner benefits at the expense of another. They also help ensure that the financial health of your co-op is sound. It means that the Co-op will be able to serve you and all of the owners for many years to come.