Frequently asked questions

  1. What is a Patronage Dividend? The wonderful way Cooperatives operate is that the portion of profit made from sales to owners is not taxable to the Co-op. Likewise, the portion of those earnings distributed back to owners is also tax free*. The amount paid to each owner is distributed in direct proportion to the individual owner’s annual purchases.

  2. *Do I have to pay income tax on my dividend? Patronage dividends on purchases for household use are not taxable as income.

  3. Can I donate my dividend amount? If you would like to donate your dividend, please visit the Donations page here.

  4. What does “eligible purchases” mean? Eligible purchases are money spent on items for sale in our store, except for items below in FAQ #5.

  5. What is not included in my total annual purchases? The following items are not included in your annual purchases: bottle deposits, postage stamps, newspapers, Community Oven Classes, event tickets, owner equity payments, gift cards purchased, scanned donations at the register, Ashland meal tax.

  6. Do I have to spend my dividend all at once? No, your cashier will transfer the remaining balance after your purchase to a gift card that you may use any time.

  7. How can I be sure my purchases are recorded and included as part of my total annual purchase? At the checkout register, please present your owner card to the cashier. Any sales transaction made on your owner account will count towards your annual purchases. You can request a new card here - be sure to check the box for "Replacement Owner Card."

  8. Why is it important that I keep my mailing and e-mail addresses current with you?
    If we do not have your current, accurate email address, you may miss out on important Owner information. In an attempt to reduce paper use and increase efficiency, we are moving towards connecting with you primarily through e-mail. This means any promotions, newsletters, Board of Directors announcements, special announcements, event notifications, sales flyers and Patronage Dividend information will land conveniently in your e-mail inbox. Be sure to add us to your list of approved email addresses
    Even though we are moving away from mailing anything to you via the U.S. Mail, we will still mail out coupon books and other communications to you through the mail, including owner resignation checks and unclaimed patronage credits at the register. Please keep your information up-to-date via our website here.

  9. Why has the Co-op elected to distribute dividends via store credit vs. a paper check?
    Since 2004, we have mailed out paper checks to our owners. While this works for most people, we often still have hundreds of lost and missing checks after the original mail date. By making dividends available right at the register, we hope to help more owners easily use their dividends while also saving the administrative costs of handling the outstanding checks.

  10. What happens if I no longer live in the area and I am unable to shop there anymore?
    We encourage you to donate to one of our community affiliates on our donation page. Owners who do not use all or part of their Patronage credit will have a check mailed to their address on file in late August. If you have recently moved, please update your owner information here. You are also entitled to resign your ownership and receive back any equity paid-in. Please complete, sign and return this form to begin the resignation process.




Patronage Dividend Infographic 2022