We are excited to announce that 2018 was a profitable year for Mariposa! In alignment with our bylaws, Mariposa will distribute patronage refunds to share a portion of profits made from member-owner sales in 2018. The Board has declared that 30% of the profit made from member-owner sales, $47,271.61, be distributed as a patronage refund. This amount is slightly less than 2017, but member-owners should only see a small difference in their refunds if their shopping habits have remained similar.

If you have a question that has not been answered below, please contact Owner Services at ownership@mariposa.coop or 215-729-2121 x03.

Patronage Basics

What is a patronage refund?

Patronage refunds (or dividends) are the cooperative method of sharing a co-op’s earnings with its member-owners in profitable years. Your patronage refund is based on your total purchases for that particular year and the profit that the Co-op made on those purchases.  This is why it is important to use your card or give your member-owner number to the cashier when you pay.

Distribution of a patronage refund lets member-owners share in the success of our community business. The reinvestment of some of these profits enables us to maintain the store that you love.

**A patronage refund is not your refundable equity investment. Learn more about equity here.

Will I get a patronage refund every year and whose decision is it?

Patronage can only be distributed in profitable years and at the discretion of the Board of Delegates. Typically, the General Manager recommends a few options and the Board uses this information when making their decision.

Who qualifies for the patronage refund?

Member-owners who purchased approximately $133 or more of retail products in 2018 are eligible to receive refunds. Total purchases below this amount yield a refund less than $2 and will not be distributed.

Equity payments are not included in patronage refund calculations. If you joined on or after January 1st,  2019 you will not be eligible to receive a 2018 refund.

How is patronage calculated?

At the end of the fiscal year, our Finance department determines how much profit the Co-op made and how much of that profit was generated by member-owners; this is the total member-owner patronage. The Board then decides how much of a refund to distribute from this pool, if any.

According to the IRS, at least 20% of the total patronage must be distributed to the member-owners when a refund has been declared. The Board may choose to retain up to 80% of the total patronage for projected capital expenses and other business needs. This year, the Board has decided to distribute 30% of the total patronage and your personal refund is based on how much you shopped in 2018.

How will I receive my patronage refund?

All qualified member-owners will be notified of their refund via email. Those who do not have an email on file will receive notice by mail. Those who live out of state or in the surrounding suburbs will receive a check in the mail. Member-owners can redeem their refunds:

  • As credit on their account and/or purchase at the register

  • Toward their equity investment (if not fully paid)

  • As a check (may take up to two weeks to issue)

Patronage refunds must be redeemed by Monday, September 30th. Any unredeemed refunds will be donated to a 501(c)3 non-profit voted on by member-owners in the fall.

Please update your contact information if it has recently changed.

Do I have to claim this as income on my tax return?

No. The IRS regards this as a refund, not income. If you are a business, you should consult the person who prepares your taxes.

Patronage example

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