04/20/2017

Aquila Tax-Free Fund of Colorado Annual Shareholder Meeting

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Shareholders of Aquila Tax-Free Fund of Colorado are cordially invited to attend their annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the Wellshire Event Center, Cambridge Room, 3333 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, Colorado. Light refreshments will be served prior to the meeting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Fund Executives, Trustees, the Portfolio Manager and hear Tom Binnings, Senior Partner of Summit Economics LLC, an applied economics research and consulting firm. Mr. Binning has more than 35 years of experience in project management, economic and market research, business start-ups and turnarounds, real estate development, business analytics, public policy, and strategic planning. Mr. Binnings will speak about the Colorado and national economy.

Please plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you on May 17.

04/19/2017

Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Oregon Annual Shareholder Meeting

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Shareholders of Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Oregon are cordially invited to attend their annual shareholder meeting Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the Oregon Convention Center, Meeting Rooms F150-151, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, Oregon. Light refreshments will be served prior to the meeting and parking will be validated at the end of the meeting.

Those unable to attend the Portland meeting may be interested in attending a special outreach informational meeting in Eugene at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. That meeting will take place at the Valley River Inn, North & Middle Columbia Ballrooms, 1000 Valley River Way, Eugene, Oregon. Light refreshments will also be served prior to the meeting.

Attendees to both meetings will have the opportunity to visit with Fund Executives, Trustees, the Portfolio Manager and hear renowned Oregon economist and Trustee, John Mitchell, speak about the Oregon and national economy. Mr. Mitchell is principal of M & H Economic Consultants of Portland. He is a past chairman of the Oregon Council of Economic Advisors, and former chief economist of U.S. Bancorp.

Please plan to attend one of these meetings. We look forward to seeing you in either Portland or Eugene.

04/19/2017

Aquila Narragansett Tax-Free Income Fund Annual Shareholder Meeting

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Shareholders of Aquila Narragansett Tax-Free Income Fund are cordially invited to attend their annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. at the Rhode Island Convention Center, Room 555, One Sabin Street, Providence, Rhode Island. A buffet breakfast will be served prior to the meeting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Fund Executives, Trustees, the Portfolio Manager and hear Lara Salamano, Chief Marketing Officer of the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, speak about the impact it has on the Rhode Island economy.

Ms. Salamano, a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, is leading a coordinated statewide marketing campaign to bring more tourists and businesses to Rhode Island.

Please plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you on April 26.

04/19/2017

Aquila Churchill Tax-Free Fund of Kentucky Annual Shareholder Meeting

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Shareholders of Aquila Churchill Tax-Free Fund of Kentucky are cordially invited to attend their annual shareholder meeting Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. in the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Brown & Williamson Club, University of Louisville, 2800 South Floyd Street, Louisville, KY. A buffet breakfast will be served prior to the meeting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Fund Executives, Trustees, the Portfolio Manager, and hear Ryan Barrow, Executive Director of the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, which is part of the Office of Financial Management. The Office is responsible for the investment and debt management functions of the Commonwealth, including conducting the state’s bond sales, which provide financing for major projects such as those in which your fund invests. Mr. Barrow was named one of 40 rising stars by Bond Buyer last year.

Please plan to attend.  We look forward to seeing you on April 20.

04/18/2017

Are You Free of Your Tax Bill for the Year?

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Tax return form with pen and calculator

Today is Tax Day and as you send in your 2016 tax forms, you might be surprised to learn that the nation will still be working to pay this year’s taxes.

Every year the Tax Foundation calculates Tax Freedom Day®, which determines the day the country has earned enough money collectively to pay its total tax bill. The calculation considers all federal, state, and local taxes and divides them by the nation’s income. For 2017, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 23rd. So, the average taxpayer will spend 113 days working to pay their taxes.

In another calculation, the Tax Foundation incorporates the federal deficit. When that is included, we will have to work another 14 days; until May 7th, to reach Tax Freedom Day.

The Foundation figures that America will spend more on taxes in 2017 than on food, clothing and housing combined. 

Read more “Are You Free of Your Tax Bill for the Year?”

04/03/2017

Trustee, John C. Lucking, Retires

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John C. Lucking has announced his retirement from the board of Aquila Municipal Trust, of which he was Chair, effective March 31, 2017.  His fellow Trustees, the Aquila Group of Funds and the staff of Aquila Investment Management LLC have benefited greatly from his personal integrity, considerable experience and valuable business insight, and we recognize and appreciate Mr. Lucking’s judgment, perseverance and skill throughout his long service as an independent Trustee.

On behalf of the Funds, we express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for Mr. Lucking’s contributions and for his dedication to the interests of the Funds’ shareholders.

Aquila Municipal Trust consists of Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Arizona, Aquila Tax-Free Fund of Colorado, Aquila Churchill Tax-Free Fund of Kentucky, Aquila Narragansett Tax-Free Income Fund, and Aquila Tax-Free Fund for Utah.

03/17/2017

Defending Tax-Exempt Status of Municipal Bonds

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On March 29, 2017 a coalition of 53 organizations representing city, county and state governments, utilities, critical infrastructure, public service providers, and municipal finance professionals sent a letter entitled Don’t Mess With Our Bonds to leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and the House Ways and Means Committee to express their strong support for tax-exempt municipal bonds.  As stated in the letter, “Proposals to reduce or repeal the tax exemption would have a severely detrimental impact on national infrastructure development and the municipal bond market. Such proposals would clearly increase the borrowing costs of state and local governments and create uncertainty for investors.”

On March 9, 2017 a bi-partisan letter was sent by U.S. Congressmen to the House Ways and Means Committee asking that leadership reject any proposal to cap or eliminate the deduction on tax-exempt municipal bonds used to finance the vast majority of infrastructure projects in America’s communities.  The letter was signed by 156 Congressmen; 94 Democrats and 61 Republicans.

As Congress considers tax reform and infrastructure financing, those signing the letter expressed their strong support for tax-exempt municipal bonds as an important tool which, for more than a century, has provided states and local governments with a reliable and efficient means of financing.

Factors cited in support of maintaining the municipal bond tax-exemption include:

  • Municipal bonds are pro-growth investments which spur job creation, help our economies grow, and strengthen our communities
  • Millions of Americans depend on municipal bonds for their economic security, and invest in them because of their low-risk nature
  • Nearly 75% of municipal bond investors earn less than $200,000 per year, and more than 75% are 55 or older
  • A combination of local control and local responsibility make municipal bonds an incredibly effective and efficient tool
  • Federal tax exemption reduces the cost if issuing municipal bonds, but local voters pay the interest and principal on municipal bonds

The letter concludes by stating that the current tax-exempt status of municipal bonds contributes to efficient economic growth that benefits all Americans.

Separately on March 9th, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) commented on the American Society of Civil Engineers 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, saying “the 2017 ASCE Report Card clearly shows the desperate need for a strong commitment to infrastructure investment, which will help spur job creation and economic growth. SIFMA strongly advocates that the tax exemption for municipal bond interest remain intact, so that it may continue to help America’s cities and states boost their local economies through the construction of new projects such as roads, hospitals and schools.”

As Congress begins consideration of tax reform and infrastructure spending, we encourage you to contact your Congressional members to express your views on the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds.

Updated 4/3/2017

03/16/2017

We Mourn the Passing of Trustee, Nancy Wilgenbusch

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Nancy Wilgenbusch, an independent trustee of Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Oregon, passed away in February, 2017.  Ms. Nancy Wilgenbusch served with great integrity and distinction as a member of the Board of Trustees of Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Oregon since 2001.

Trustees and Officers of Aquila Tax-Free Trust of Oregon, and the staff of Aquila Investment Management LLC benefited greatly from her personal integrity, valuable business insight, and dedication to the interests of the shareholders of the Trust. All who worked with Ms. Wilgenbusch held her in high esteem and respected her unique and consistent ability to cut to the heart of any issue and make her points with strength and conviction.

On behalf of the Trust, we express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for Ms. Wilgenbusch’s contributions during her tenure as a Trustee of the Trust, and for her dedication to the interests of the Trust’s shareholders and the citizens of Oregon.

03/13/2017

Barron’s cites Zach Miller on Ball Corp

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Zach Miller, Co-Manager of Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund, was cited in a March 11, 2017 Barron’s article on Ball Corp, (BLL) the world’s largest maker of beverage cans

The investment strategy of Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund (a stock fund) begins in the high yield corporate bond market, where the Fund’s portfolio managers become familiar with high-yield issuers, their management teams, and corporate growth objectives.  A key component of the research process covers a firm’s ability to generate free cash flow, which is then available for a number of purposes, including paying down debt, which can improve the balance sheet and enhance the performance of the stock.

The Barron’s article makes mention of a Ball Corp “target of $300 million in cost savings and a doubling of free cash flow from premerger levels, to more than $1 billion by the end of 2019”.  Ball Corp recently merged with Rexam.

The article goes on to say “Zach Miller, co-manager of the Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth fund, thinks the stock can rise to $91 from a recent $73.35, as the benefits of the Rexam deal become more clear later in the year. Miller expects Ball’s adjusted Ebitda to grow 11% in 2018 to almost $2 billion, rising to nearly $2.2 billion in 2019, while analysts currently expect Ebitda of $1.92 billion next year and $2.05 billion in 2019.”

You will find more information regarding Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund on this site, including the Fund prospectus, fact sheet, and the latest quarter-end portfolio holdings.

Before investing in a Fund, carefully read about and consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information found in the Fund prospectus. The prospectus is available on this site, from your financial adviser and when you call 800-437-1020.

02/10/2017

2016 Shareholder Tax Forms Have Been Mailed Early

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Every year, mutual fund companies must mail IRS Form 1099-B to their customers by February 15th.  Forms going out to Aquila Group of Funds direct shareholders were in the mail the week of February 6, 2017.

In the fall of 2008, the IRS enacted a new law which changed the 1099-B mailing deadline from January 31 to February 15.

The prompt delivery of year-end tax forms is just one example of the ways in which we strive to be exceptionally shareholder oriented in everything we do.