letter to the editor, utilities, WOEC

Letter to the Editor: Rural Oregon at Risk

The West Oregon Electric Co-op offices in Vernonia. Photo: Chas Hundley

For the past 75 years Oregon’s electric cooperatives like West Oregon Electric Cooperative have provided our members affordable, reliable electricity. Sometimes that’s not easy.

WOEC experienced four FEMA events in the last 6 years, leaving consumers without power, causing millions of dollars in damages. FEMA funds bring the lights back on after these major events. However, due to an unintended consequence of federal tax law changes in 2017, electric co-ops that receive FEMA grants are now at risk of losing their tax-exempt status, forcing them to raise rates on members to pay taxes.

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