ALEXANDRIA – In February of this year 2015 CLECO Corporation shareholders approved the acquisition of the company by a group of North American investors.
Although the transfer of the Central Louisiana utility company is still subject to the approval of the Louisiana Public Service Commission and several federal agencies, the transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2015.
Shareholders as of a specified date will receive a payment worth $55.37 per share of stock.
The sale of the company will mean shareholders will have to find somewhere else to invest the cash proceeds and attempt to replace the excellent dividend they have been receiving. Unfortunately it will also mean capital gains tax.
“If you do nothing your shares will automatically be purchased by the investment group and will trigger capital gains taxes,” stated Wayne Taylor Executive Director, Louisiana Baptist Foundation.
The Capital Gains Tax is levied on the gain in value of an asset. For shareholders who purchased CLECO stock and held it longer than one year, the gain or increase in the value of the stock may be taxed as much as 20%. This is where an opportunity comes in.
By making a contribution of CLECO stock to a qualified charitable organization BEFORE the final closing of the sale, the donor can avoid the capital gain on the stock donated AND qualify for a charitable deduction from federal income tax of the fair market value of the donated stock.
Donors can use their stock contribution to their church to satisfy their tithe for a period of time or support programs such as building projects, youth ministry or other ministries of the church.
Donors can also use the contributions to give to other Louisiana Baptist ministries such as Louisiana College, the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, Disaster Relief or any other ministry that the donor may choose.
The Louisiana Baptist Foundation is already working with CLECO shareholders who desire to give to Baptist churches and ministries. The Foundation has already established an account to receive your contribution and can pass the proceeds to your local church or other ministry of your choice. Two key points to remember:
n Don’t Wait! The transfer process can possibly take several weeks, particularly for those whose shares are held by ComputerShares.
n There are gift “vehicles” available that allow donors to remain anonymous or to select the timing of distributions to ministries. The Foundation staff can discuss these options with you.
The sale of CLECO is forcing shareholders to consider this opportunity for giving their shares in support of ministry. However giving stock is not limited to CLECO owners. Anyone holding shares of stock that have increase in value can reap the same tax benefits.
The Foundation is an advocate for Louisiana Baptists who desire to make gifts in support of Baptist ministry. Please contact our office to assist you with your gift of CLECO stock or other contribution.
The Foundation is an agency of the Louisiana Baptist Convention and receives support through the Cooperative Program.
You can reach the Foundation office at 318.445.4495 or call Toll Free at 877.523.4636.