Letter to: Power
A municipal electric energy cooperative, which is created by concurrent resolutions of the governing boards of municipal electric utilities and that is exempt from taxation, may qualify as a "political subdivision of the state." LeeAnn Power, a public records administrator at the Connecticut State Library, asked whether a municipal electric energy cooperative is a "political subdivision of the state" and is required to comply with municipal records management law in Connecticut General Statutes §11-8. The statute provides, the "State Librarian shall be responsible for developing and directing a records management program for the books, records, papers and documents of all state agencies within the executive department, and the books, records, papers and documents of the several towns, cities, boroughs, districts and other political subdivisions of the state." A municipal cooperative may be created by concurrent resolutions adopted by the governing boards of two or more municipal electric utilities, pursuant to C.G.S. §7-233e(b). Municipal cooperatives possess the power of eminent domain and are exempt from taxation by the state or any political subdivision of the state, pursuant to C.G.S. §7-233s. Attorney General George Jepsen opined that CMEEC, the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative, is a political subdivision of the state for purposes of C.G.S. §11-8, because it is a municipal cooperative that possesses a public purpose, it exercises an essential government function and it is exempt from taxation. "[L]ike regional councils of government, regional planning agencies, and transit districts that this Office has determined to be political subdivisions," wrote Attorney General Jepsen, "municipal cooperatives are created through statutorily authorized municipal action." The Attorney General added, "They perform a quintessential public purpose and governmental function typical of local units of government."