Westchester Tobacco Asset Securitization Corporation
The Westchester Tobacco Asset Securitization Corporation ("WTASC") is a special purpose corporation and a subsidiary corporation of the Westchester County Health Care Corporation ("WCHCC"). WTASC was organized under the provisions of Section 1411 of the New York State Not-For-Profit Corporation Law and pursuant to Section 3306(7) of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. The Board of Directors of WTASC consists of three members; one director designated by WCHCC to be the Commissioner of Finance of the County of Westchester, New York ("County"), one director designated by WCHCC to be the WCHCC board representative, selected by the Majority Leader of the County Board of Legislators and a third director who meets certain requirements of independence and shall be designated by the other two members.
An agreement among the attorneys general of 46 states and various territories (“Settling States”) and the four largest United States tobacco manufacturers was entered into on Nov. 23, 1998. The agreement, known as the Master Settlement Agreement (“MSA”), resolved cigarette smoking-related litigation between the Settling States and U.S. Tobacco manufacturers. Pursuant to the MSA, the Settling States and the participating manufacturers agreed to settle all past, present and future smoking related claims in exchange for an agreement by the participating manufacturers to make certain payments. Under the MSA, the State of New York is entitled to receive approximately 12.76 percent of the initial and annual payments. The New York Consent Decree, which was entered into in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of New York in December 1998, allocated 1.926 percent of this State-wide share of the initial and annual payments to the County and the remainder among the State, the City of New York and all other counties within the State.
During 1999, the County sold all of its future rights, title and interest to receive payments under the MSA and the Consent Decree to WTASC, which issued $103,504,558 in Tobacco Settlement Asset-Backed Bonds, Series 1999 (“Series 1999”). During 2005, WTASC issued $216,600,000 of Tobacco Settlement Asset-Backed Bonds Series 2005 (“Series 2005”), the proceeds of which were used to 1) refund the outstanding Series 1999 bonds, 2) fund the Liquidity Reserve Account at its required level, 3) pay certain costs of issuance related to the Series 2005 bonds and 4) provide the County with funds for working capital purposes. During 2016, WTASC issued $180,990,000 of Tobacco Settlement Asset-Backed Bonds Series 2016 (“Series 2016”) composed of Senior Bonds (federally taxable) of $7,165,000, Senior Bonds of $91,300,000 and Subordinate Bonds of $82,525,000, the proceeds of which were used to 1) refund the outstanding series 2005 bonds, 2) pay certain costs of issuance related to the Series 2016 bonds and 3) distribute to the Residual Certificate Holder the remaining proceeds. The Series 2016 bonds are payable from and secured solely from the pledged Tobacco Settlement Revenues (“TSR’s”), which consists of the annual total TSR payments, less the portion thereof that constitutes unencumbered revenues and operating cash requirements, plus investment earnings. Unencumbered revenues consist of 13.85 percent of each payment of TSR’s. The County, as owner of the beneficial interest in the Residual Trust which holds the Residual Certificate, will be entitled to receive these unencumbered revenues free and clear of the lien of the indenture. Bondholders will have no claim on the unencumbered revenues if pledged revenues are insufficient to pay principal and/or interest on the Series 2016 bonds.
The debt issued by WTASC to securitize these revenues is not considered debt of the County or the WCHCC.