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Do rural electric cooperatives pay taxes?

By: 
Kaaren Robbins
BEC Communication/ Member Services

Yes, rural electric cooperatives pay taxes the same as other businesses. Beartooth Electric Cooperative (BEC) pays property tax, sales tax (in Wyoming), unemployment tax (both state and federal) and payroll tax (federal). The only tax cooperatives do not pay is income tax. Cooperatives are not-for-profit businesses--there is no profit, so no income tax is paid.
As a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative, BEC pays property tax on poles, lines, substations and other distribution facilities the cooperative owns. Beartooth Electric Cooperative has a total of 1,814 miles of distribution power lines in the counties it serves.
The four counties served by Beartooth Electric Cooperative in 2017 received a total of $270,973 in property taxes alone. Carbon County has the largest distribution of BEC property; it received the largest share— $141,470 from the cooperative. Other counties receiving BEC tax money are Stillwater County—$100,756; Sweetgrass County— $9,567; and Park County, Wyoming —$19,182.
County governments use the tax dollars largely to fund local school districts, county social service programs and area fire and ambulance districts.

BEARTOOTH ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.
FACILITIES, POLES, WIRE, STRUCTURES, TRANSFORMERS
2017 PROPERTY TAX BY STATE, BY COUNTY

MONTANA-
CARBON COUNTY
BELFRY $4,480.82
BRIDGER $ 8,316.88
EDGAR $5,646.03
FROMBERG $4,120.12
JACKSON $2,588.10
JOLIET $6,200.96
JOLIET $5,990.60
LUTHER $10,094.21
RED LODGE $43,922.56
RED LODGE $24,084.60
ROBERTS $20,132.56
ROCKVALE $77.77
ROSCOE/ABSAROKEE $5,814.57

CARBON COUNTY TOTAL TAX $141,469.78

MONTANA-STILLWATER COUNTY
ABSAROKEE $17,290.36
COLUMBUS/ABSAROKEE
$833.11
COLUMBUS/ABSAROKEE
$6,340.04
COLUMBUS/ABSAROKEE
$37,878.42
FISHTAIL $6,828.41
MOLT $2,235.54
NYE $7,231.03
RAPELJE $12,061.67
REED POINT $10,057.03

STILLWATER COUNTY TOTAL TAX $100,755.61
MONTANA-SWEETGRASS COUNTY
$5,011.16
$395.62
$4,160.25

SWEETGRASS COUNTY TOTAL TAX $9,567.03

WYOMING-PARK COUNTY
 $19,028.49
 $153.06
 TOTAL TAX $19,181.55

TOTAL 2017 PROPERTY TAX $ 270,973.97

What is Beartooth Electric Cooperative?
Beartooth Electric Cooperative (BEC) is an electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Red Lodge, Mont., with a warehouse facility located in Columbus, Mont. The cooperative was organized in 1938, and its first substation was energized Absarokee, MT. Today, BEC has more than 4,400 members and serves more than 6,100 meters over 1,814 miles of line.
More about Beartooth Electric Cooperative is available online at www.beartoothelectric.com.

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Upcoming Events

  • Monday, April 22, 2019 - 6:00pm
    Paintbrush Piecers Quilt Guild meeting will be Monday April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Cody Sr. Center. After a short business meeting the program will be a trunk show presented by Betty Hecker, Audrey Clark and Sharon Kaeding from Red Lodge. Meetings are free and guests are welcome. For information contact Marybeth 754-5399
  • Monday, April 22, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, April 26, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.