INSURERS SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO REINVEST PORTION OF THE $250 BILLION IN PREMIUMS
COLLECTED FROM CA RESIDENTS
Sacramento, CA- Sept. 15— Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 2728 (Atkins, DSan
Diego) which would have re-authorized a state tax credit that incentivized insurance companies to reinvest
premiums collected from their Californian customers back into California communities. The California
Organized Investment Network (COIN) CDFI Tax Credit created tax-advantaged investment opportunities for
insurers while also creating jobs; financing for affordable housing and renewable energy projects; and providing
capital for small business owners and other community development. Because of Brown’s veto of AB 2728, the
tax credit will end on January 1, 2017.
Community leaders were disappointed at the elimination of the tax credit. However, they also expressed
optimism about working with Governor Brown and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to find a
replacement for the tax credit and to reinstate the data call, a transparency mechanism that enabled the public to
see how insurers are investing in communities.
Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, and a member of the COIN
advisory board, comments:
“COIN was started twenty years ago (as an alternative to a mandatory insurance reinvestment requirement)
because California communities have an expectation that insurers will be good stakeholders in their
communities, especially given their quasi-utility status, which includes government mandates to buy insurance
and government regulation and support of the industry. Based on Governor Brown’s veto, we believe there is an
immediate opportunity to replace the tax credit with a more substantial mechanism that will require insurers to
reinvest in their communities- and to publicly report on those investments. If the tax credit and data call aren’t
replaced, it will be a huge loss to low-income families in California.”
Douglas Bystry, chief executive officer and president of Clearinghouse Community Development Financial
Institution, and a member of the COIN advisory board, comments: “Insurance Companies collect over $250
billion annually in premiums from California residents. Much of that, like car insurance, is mandated by the
state. It only makes sense that these insurance companies reinvest a portion of their premiums in California
communities, but without the COIN tax credit, there is less of an incentive for insurers to participate, which is
why we believe there is an immediate need to replace it.”
Lori Gay, president and chief executive officer of Neighborhood Housing Services of LA County, and a
former COIN advisory board member, comments: “The role that insurers can and should play in addressing the
affordable housing crisis in California is too important to ignore. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and work
with Governor Brown, Commissioner Jones, and the industry to talk about replacements for the COIN tax credit.
We want to ensure that whatever replaces the credit will also leverage insurer premiums to continue creating
homeownership opportunities for low-income Californians and strengthening local communities.”
Ralph Lippman, executive director of the California Community Economic Development Association, and a
former COIN advisory board member, comments: “We know that insurers could be doing considerably more in
our state, especially in the context of billions of dollars in premiums paid every year by Californians. The
question isn’t if, but how we design a replacement for the COIN tax credit that will leverage safe investments for
insurers while also creating jobs, financing affordable housing, and powering local community development.”
Maurilio León, chief operating officer at Community Housing Opportunities Corporation, and a COIN
Advisory Board member adds: “Insurance companies are in a unique position to strengthen California
communities by investing some of their premiums into safe investment opportunities that provide capital for
nonprofits that build and finance much-needed affordable housing; that lend to, and support small business
owners; and that improve our environment through renewable energy projects. We stand ready to work with
Governor Brown, Insurance Commissioner Jones, California insurers, and other stakeholders to identify a
replacement for the tax credit so that COIN’s legacy will continue.”
In 2014, COIN awarded MetLife Insurance Company $600,000 in tax credits for a $3 million investment into
Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF). NCCLF used a portion of that investment to finance a
$1.85 million loan that will allow Open Door Community Health Centers to construct new clinics in Fortuna and
Arcata and to pay back construction debt for the Eureka Community Health Center. All three health centers will
serve approximately 39,000 patients in highly distressed rural communities.
Additional Background on the COIN program:
According to a recent report by Insight at Pacific Community Ventures, between 2011 and 2015, COIN
facilitated the investment of $237.5 million into 34 organizations.
As a result, these organizations were able to deploy $505.7 million of pooled funds, resulting in:
· 985 new permanent jobs and 3,230 construction jobs
· Development of over 12,000 units of affordable housing across California for 18,184 residents, two-thirds of
whom are very low income individuals earning less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
· Support for 212 small businesses that employ 884 individuals. Approximately 68 percent of these businesses
are minority-owned or controlled.
· 22 community facilities being built or expanded, including healthcare centers for the medically underserved,
childcare centers and facilities offering social services. These facilities serve over 210,000 individuals, over
40,000 of whom live in rural communities.
· Nine water treatment facilities being constructed, including, water access projects and desalination plants,
which provide 2,765 households and businesses with safe drinking water.