Private Activity Bonds

CONGRESSMEN CALL ON FEDS TO SUSPEND BRIGHTLINE BONDS

FIVE CONGRESSMEN CALLED ON FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS TO SUSPEND THE $1.15 BILLION IN PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS FOR ALL ABOARD FLORIDA'S BRIGHTLINE PASSENGER RAIL, saying there are still a number of "yet-to-be answered questions" concerning Brightline's use of the bonds. These five include four Florida lawmakers and Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Government Operations.

CONGRESSMAN MEADOWS ON AAF FEDERAL FUNDING: 'WE CANNOT SUPPORT ... BLANK-CHECK AUTHORITY'

CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM SUBCOMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS MARK MEADOWS ASKED U.S. TRANSPORTATION SEC. ELAINE CHAO TO SUSPEND THE ALLOCATION OF ALL ABOARD FLORIDA'S PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS. This request was made in a letter that Meadows sent on May 16. This was following his subcommittee's April 19 hearing where he went in "with an open mind, but came away from it deeply troubled about (USDOT's) position."

LETTER SENT TO USDOT SEC CHAO FROM CONGRESSMAN MEADOWS WITH DESANTIS, GAETZ, MAST, AND POSEY

CONGRESSMEN MARK MEADOWS WITH RON DESANTIS, MATT GAETZ, BRIAN MAST, AND BILL POSEY SENT A LETTER TO U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY ELAINE CHAO. This letter follows the recent Operations Subcommittee hearing three weeks ago, which raised great concerns about the DOT's "interpretation" of Private Activity Bond allocation and the PABs that were allocated to All Aboard Florida's Brightline passenger rail.

BRIGHTLINE'S PRIVATE-ACTIVITY BONDS IN PERIL, BUT PHASE 2 CONSTRUCTION NEARING

BRIGHTLINE HAS UNTIL MAY 31 TO SELL THE $1.15 BILLION OF PRIVATE-ACTIVITY BONDS FOR PHASE 2 OF ITS PASSENGER RAILROAD BUT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A SALE IN SIGHT. This deadline was set by the U.S. Department of Transporation when it approved the bonds December 22.

DOES BRIGHTLINE QUALIFY FOR FEDERAL BONDS? TAXPAYERS DESERVE AN ANSWER!

U.S. SENATOR MARCO RUBIO, AS WELL AS MANY TREASURE COAST RESIDENTS AND OFFICIALS, WANT TO KNOW IF BRIGHTLINE QUALIFIES FOR FEDERAL TAX-EXEMPT BONDS. Rubio sent a letter this week to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao seeking clarification, saying "it is critical that the utmost transparency is provided to taxpayers" and that Brightline "has raised questions regarding whether federal financing was appropriately used."

SENATOR MAYFIELD URGES RICK SCOTT TO 'PROTECT' STATE FROM BRIGHTLINE BOND QUESTIONS

THANK YOU TO SENATOR DEBBIE MAYFIElD WHO URGED GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT TO PULL FLORIDA FROM FINANCING THE DEAL BACKING BRIGHTLINE'S PROPOSED PRIVATE PASSENGER RAILROAD on Wednesday. This is due to the congressional hearing last week where questions were raised about whether Brightline should have been approved for the $1.75 billion in tax-exempt private activity bonds.

Watch the congressional meeting here.

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO CHALLENGES LEGITIMACY OF BRIGHTLINE FINANCING

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO JOIN REP. BRIAN MAST AND QUESTIONS BRIGHTLINE'S APPROVAL FOR $1.75 BILLION OF TAX-EXEMPT BONDS. Rubio has sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, calling for "increased transparency" on Brightline and the U.S. Department of Transportation's questionable approval of the bonds.

This is not the first letter that Rubio has sent questioning the Brightline project. In January, Rubio asked Chao for a safety review after two people were killed within the first week of Brightline launching service between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

BRIGHTLINE CRITICIZED FOR D.C. HEARING

CONGRESSIONAL PANEL BALKS AT REQUEST FOR PUBLIC FUNDS TO EXTEND RAIL SERVICE. On Thursday, Congressmen blasted Brightline for possibly circumventing federal law to obtain $1.75 billion of tax-free financing, and suggested the financing for Brightline's Miami-to-Orlando passenger railroad could be in jeopardy.

WITH PABS PRESERVED, ALL ABOARD FLORIDA WON'T RUSH NEXT FINANCING

THE FLORIDA DEVELOPMENT FINANCE CORP CANCELED AN EMERGENCY MEETING MONDAY THAT HAD BEEN CALLED TO APPROVE $1.15 BILLION OF PRIVATE ACTIVITY BONDS FOR THE ALL ABOARD FLORIDA HIGH-SPEED PASSENGER TRAIN PROJECT.

"The meeting has been canceled in light of the tax reform package that was approved," FDFC Executive Director Bill Spivey said, referring to the congressional agreement on tax legislation announced Friday preserving the use of PABs.

ALL ABOARD FLORIDA HAS REQUESTED $1.75 BILLION FEDERAL LOAN, WOULD LIKELY DEFAULT, OPPONENTS SAY

IT'S LIKELY "SPECULATIVE START-UP VENTURE" ALL ABOARD FLORIDA WOULD DEFAULT ON A FEDERAL LOAN, TREASURE COAST RAIL OPPONENTS SAID MONDAY IN IT'S LETTER TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

This letter asked the DOT to carefully consider AAF's risky finances before providing a loan. Originally, AAF sought a $1.6 billion loan to finance its Miami-to-Orlando passenger railroad.