Indian River County will not appeal a judge’s decision that it lacks standing to stop the issuance of $1.75 billion in tax-exempt bonds to fund All Aboard Florida’s Brightline train service, County Attorney Dylan Reingold said Friday.
Although the county did not agree with the decision, Reingold said officials have decided not to challenge the June 10 ruling.
Indian River County had sought a preliminary injunction to block the sale of the bonds. The Florida Development Finance Corp., a special financing unit authorized by the state Legislature to issue tax-exempt bonds to private entities, signed off on the sale in August.
Under the plan, the finance corporation would act as conduit issuer of the bonds, which will be sold by All Aboard Florida to private investors. According to documents filed with the finance corporation, the 30-year bonds would not be rated and would be sold only to accredited investors and qualified institutional buyers.
All Aboard has been given until Jan. 1 to complete the bond sale.
Although Indian River’s decision ends one lawsuit, which was filed in Leon County last year, All Aboard is still facing challenges at the federal level.
Martin and Indian River counties filed federal lawsuits last year against the U.S. Department of Transportation, challenging whether All Aboard Florida is eligible for the private activity bonds. A judge has denied the counties’ request for an injunction to block the bond sale.
Both suits are still pending.
All Aboard Florida plans to construct an express railway that will be privately owned and operated and has asked that $1.75 billion in private activity bonds be tax exempt. The 235-mile Brightline railway would run from Miami to Orlando with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.