Electric co-ops throughout the nation are in danger of losing their tax-exempt status due to an unintended consequence of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress. That bill redefined government grants to co-ops as "non-member" income. That's a problem because, under federal tax law, at least 85% of a co-op's revenue must come from its consumer-members. Before the change, government grants were considered capital.

Co-ops now risk their tax-exempt status if they accept grants from local, state or federal governments to restore power after a natural disaster, bring broadband service to rural communities, invest in local economic development projects or create energy efficiency programs.

The RURAL Act, a bipartisan bill that would allow co-ops to once again accept grants without losing their status, would fix this issue. The materials below can be used by your co-op to communicate about the need for Congress to pass the RURAL Act.

#PassTheRURALAct Campaign Materials

Help NRECA show Congress the human faces behind the effort to pass the RURAL Act. To participate, just print out the #PassTheRURALAct signs below, take pictures of folks at your co-op holding the signs, and share it on your social media channels with the #PassTheRURALAct hashtag and a link to One of the signs includes a space for you to write in a reason why the bill should be passed, such as "because we need to keep the lights on" or "because we want to expand access to broadband." The other is a basic sign with #PassTheRURALAct in the middle. Please also tag NRECA and send a copy of your picture to NRECA will share your pictures on our social media channels, too.

#PassTheRURALAct Sign With Space for Personalized Message
#PassTheRURALAct Sign

Additional Downloads

Social Media | RURAL Act Graphics
Social Media Video | #PassTheRURALAct Explainer
Social Media Video | There’s a Storm on the Horizon
Video | NRECA CEO Jim Matheson Urges Co-op Leaders to Action During 2019 Regional Meetings
Video | NRECA President and Co-op CEO Curtis Wynn on the Importance of the RURAL Act
Video | NRECA Media and PR Director Stephen Bell Discusses the RURAL Act on RFD-TV (shorter version is suitable for Twitter)

Editorial Content

News Story | As Majority of House Signs On to RURAL Act, Lead Sponsors Press for Vote
News Story | Co-op Voices, Part 1: How Losing Tax-Exempt Status Would Hurt Rural Residents
News Story | Co-op Voices, Part 2: CEOs Discuss Impacts of Tax Law Glitch for Members
News Story | Co-op CEO to Congress: Help Expand Rural Broadband by Passing RURAL Act
News Story | NRECA CEO Jim Matheson: ‘If We All Stand Up,’ Co-ops Can Save Tax-Exempt Status
News Story | Co-op Advocacy Needed to Move Vital Tax Fix in Congress
Explainer | Why Popular, Bipartisan Legislation Can Face Hurdles in Congress
Q&A | Senate’s Lead RURAL Act Sponsors Discuss Their Strategy for Passage
Q&A | RURAL Act’s Lead House Sponsors Say Co-op Voices Are Key to Bill’s Success
Podcast Episode | The Push for Congress to Save Co-ops’ Tax-Exempt Status


Please contact for design files.

Taking Action

Co-op employees and consumer-members can visit to reach your lawmakers.