Chase Issues Payments of Over $3.8 Million to Florida Tobacco Growers
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--February 1, 2000-- The Chase Manhattan Bank, lead subsidiary of The Chase Manhattan Corporation announced today that it has issued payments of over $3.8 million to Florida tobacco quota owners and producers who applied for first
The distribution of the funds was made possible through the efforts of the Florida Tobacco Certification Board, which expedited receipt and processing of trust Phase II funds and certified the payments and coordinated with Chase's Capital Markets Fiduciary Services division. This private settlement was reached by the tobacco quota owners and producers with major cigarette manufacturers. The settlement will provide up to $58 million in aid over the next twelve years to tobacco quota owners and producers in Florida.
The Florida board certified the release of more than 96% of the funds they originally allocated for payment to Florida growers this year, one of the highest certification rates in the nation. Most other states certified less than 60% of their Phase II funds. As the national trustee, The Chase Manhattan Bank mailed checks yesterday, January 31, 2000, to the approved Florida payees. The Florida Tobacco Certification Board voted to reserve for future payment the remaining unclaimed 1999 funds, and to schedule a make-up round of payments on April 17, 2000 for growers who missed the earlier Phase II application deadline.
``Florida's remarkable rate of first-round payment is the result of the focused, cooperative efforts on the part of the Florida Tobacco Certification Board, and its chairman, Pleas Strickland, working in conjunction with the local Farm Service Agency agents'' said Conrad Kozak, Senior Vice President of Chase's Capital Markets Fiduciary Services. ``Florida is able to pay such a high percentage of its quota owners and producers now because of exceptional efforts by the board members and the FSA. Because of their quality work, almost all of the applications were timely and accurately completed this fall.''
``Our goal was to get these checks into the hands of as many of those eligible in Florida as quickly and smoothly as possible. It's great to know that these payments will help offset the quota reductions and falling tobacco consumption that negatively impact Florida's tobacco community,'' said Senator Richard Mitchell, Florida Tobacco Certification Board member.
Applications were mailed to tobacco farm operators in December, who were then responsible for obtaining the signatures of the numerous quota owners and producers on their farms. Of the applications completed and mailed in by farm operators, over 25% required follow-up by Chase and FSA officials to correct errors or inaccuracies and meet the fund deadline for payment. ``We're indebted to Kevin Kelly, Diane Alligood and all the other county FSA officials for their assistance in helping the growers fill out their applications,'' said Harry McGhin, Florida Tobacco Certification Board member.
The second-round of 1999 Phase II payments will be made on April 17th to those growers and quota holders who are potentially eligible for the 1999 payment, but were unable to complete their application by the assigned deadline, or did so erroneously.
With US$406 billion in total assets as of December 31, 1999, The Chase Manhattan Corporation is among the largest financial services companies in the world and a leader in developing technology-based solutions for both its wholesale and retail clients. As a full service provider, its Capital Markets Fiduciary Services Division has served the corporate and municipal markets for over 100 years. Capital Markets Fiduciary Services has offices in 31 major cities across the globe. With more than $3 trillion in assets currently under administration, Chase is a leading provider of corporate, municipal and structured debt services to issuers, intermediaries and investors worldwide. Chase can be reached on the Web at www.chase.com.