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     35-18-316. Refunds to members -- retention of unclaimed refunds. (1) Revenue of a cooperative for any fiscal year must, unless otherwise determined by a vote of the members, be distributed by the cooperative to its members as patronage refunds prorated in accordance with the patronage of the cooperative by the respective members paid for during the fiscal year, whenever the revenue exceeds the amount necessary to:
     (a) defray expenses of the cooperative and of the operation and maintenance of its facilities during the fiscal year;
     (b) pay interest and principal obligations of the cooperative coming due in the fiscal year;
     (c) finance or provide a reserve for the financing of the construction or acquisition by the cooperative of additional facilities to the extent determined by the board of trustees;
     (d) provide a reasonable reserve for working capital;
     (e) provide a reserve for the payment of indebtedness of the cooperative maturing more than 1 year after the date of the incurrence of the indebtedness in an amount not less than the total of the interest and principal payments required to be made during the next fiscal year; and
     (f) provide a fund, which may be not less than 2% or more than 5% of the balance remaining, for education in cooperation and for the dissemination of information concerning the effective use of electrical energy and other services made available by the cooperative.
     (2) Nothing contained in this section may be construed to prohibit the payment by a cooperative of all or any part of its indebtedness prior to the date when the payment becomes due.
     (3) A cooperative shall, upon the action of the board of trustees, retain patronage refunds allocated to its members that remain unclaimed for a period of 5 years after the end of the year in which the refunds are given. Refunds retained by the cooperative must be used for educational purposes.

     History: En. Sec. 20, Ch. 172, L. 1939; R.C.M. 1947, 14-520; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 263, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 47, Ch. 7, L. 2001.

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