Electo Rent Corp. has declared a special cash dividend, joining other Valley and national companies who have awarded investors this month to avoid possible tax hikes next year.

The Van Nuys company, which leases and sells electronic equipment, declared a $1.00 a share dividend to all stockholders of record as of Dec. 10. It also declared a quarterly dividend of 20 cents a share. Both will be paid on Dec. 21.

Christian broadcast company Salem Communications Corp. of Camarillo, and Walt Disney Co. of Burbank have declared early dividends. Nationally, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville, Ark., Costco Wholesale Corp. of Issaquah, Wash., and Whole Foods Market Inc. of Austin, Texas declared early dividends as well.

The companies are acting in case Capitol Hill cannot reach an agreement before the end of the year on a deal that balances spending and tax cuts. Electro Rent declared its dividend on Nov. 30.

Shares gained 2 cents, or less than 1 percent, to close at $15.71 on Monday on the Nasdaq. They had gained 89 cents the day of the announcement.

– Bailey Brewer