All Aboard Florida requests $1.75 billion in tax exempt bonds

All Aboard Florida and Michael Reininger
All Aboard Florida and Michael Reininger

All Aboard Florida was seeking a federal loan to finance the private rail project. But it has abruptly changed course and is now requesting $1.75 billion in tax exempt bonds.

The company confirmed Tuesday that it applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation in August to issue the private activity bonds, according to the Palm Beach Post. The notes have a low interest rate, and investors don’t have to pay taxes on the interest they are paid.

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All Aboard Florida president and chief development officer Michael Reininger said the bonds would fund construction on the second phase of the line between West Palm Beach and Orlando. It will also allow the job to be done more quickly than if it waited for the approval of a $1.6 billion Federal Railroad Administration loan.

Construction kicks off this fall on the route between Miami and West Palm Beach. That portion of the project is being paid for with $405 million in private high-risk bonds. [Palm Beach Post] – Christopher Cameron