Monthly Archives: April 2015

Grandpoint Bank and its Divisions Awarded BauerFinancial 5-Star Rating

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 3.49.54 PMGrandpoint Bank and its divisions, The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, Bank of Tucson and Regents Bank received a 5-Star rating for strength, stability and soundness from independent rating and research firm BauerFinancial,↗ based on December 31, 2014, financial data. This is the seventh consecutive quarter Grandpoint has earned a 5-star rating, which BauerFinancial awards only to banks that are considered the strongest in the nation.

BauerFinancial is regarded as “the nation’s bank rating service,” and has been analyzing the performance of banks and credit unions since 1983. Ratings are determined by the bank’s capital strength, asset quality and profitability.

BauerFinancial’s analyses are made using quarterly financial reports filed with the government by each bank or credit union, with historical comparison for consistency. Its star-rating is assigned based upon a scale of zero to five stars. Banks cannot pay to be rated nor opt out of being rated.

Grandpoint and its divisions also received an A+ rating from DepositAccounts.com,↗ an independent bank health monitoring publication covering banks and bank deals for nearly a decade. This rating was also based on fourth quarter 2014 financial data.

DepositAccounts.com provides information about bank health free of charge to consumers. The company’s ratings are an indication of more than 14,000 banks’ and credit unions’ strength and stability based upon DepositAccounts.com’s proprietary algorithm.

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↗ Linking to Non-Biltmore Bank Websites

This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Biltmore Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Biltmore Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Biltmore Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

Jan Lorenzen Takes Over a New Position at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona

If you’re wondering where Biltmore Bank of Arizona teller Jan Lorenzen went to, well, this grandma of four has a new trick up her sleeve.

You may not see her sitting behind the counter anymore when you walk into the bank, but Jan is still an important part of our team. She’s made the move from operations into our loan servicing department.

Jan now assists us with our purchased residential mortgage portfolio – she reviews the files for appropriate disclosures and other information we need collected and reviewed from our mortgage banking relationships. In addition, Jan also assists our Phoenix commercial customers with their loan servicing needs to ensure that the bank provides the customer service they have come to expect.

After working as a teller and in back office operations, Jan was eager to expand her scope of knowledge. Her experience on our wire desk and other operational functions will translate well into her new role, but she’ll hone new skills as well.

Jan is an Arizona native who has lived in the Phoenix area since 1983 and who has been with us at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona since 2006. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication, Jan!

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State tax deductions through contributions to School Tuition Organizations

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An investment in education can deliver returns through a lifetime and beyond. Fortunately, Arizona offers a wonderful way to make an education available to a child whose family has chosen a private school, and it’s not too late to have that act of generosity and empowerment afford you a break on your 2014 state taxes as well.

If you’re just realizing that you may need to increase your tax credits, all the more reason to consider donating to a School Tuition Organizations (STO). Donors have until April 15, 2015, to be able to claim the credit on their 2014 Arizona state tax returns.

Under Arizona law, as outlined by the State of Arizona Department of Revenue,↗ state taxpayers may donate to their choice of approximately 50 private 501(c)(3) STO organizations. The STO receiving the donation must direct at least 90 percent of contributions toward student scholarships and make those scholarships available for more than one school. The scholarships go to K-12 students (and some preschoolers with disabilities) attending private schools, often religiously-affiliated schools. Additional conditions may apply for receiving the scholarships.

Approximately 350 schools participate in the STO programs. The Department of Revenue’s School Tax Credits↗ document outlines the particulars of the law. There is no income limit for individuals or married couples to donate, and scholarships can be granted to a student by the STO in any amount. Donors can suggest a student beneficiary but STOs cannot award scholarships solely upon donor recommendations. The STO must consider the financial needs of the student.

According to Arizona Tuition Organization,↗ in the 2014 tax year, individual taxpayers contributing to STOs may claim a dollar-for-dollar credit of up to $1,053, and married couples filing jointly may claim up to $2,106. These amounts are made up from the original Private School Tuition Tax Credit, which allows for credits of up to $1,056 for married couples filing jointly and $528 for individuals, as well as the Private Learning Uplifting Students (PLUS) credit, which allows $1,050 of additional credits for the married couples and $525 for individuals.

Keep in mind that the deadline for charitable donations that can be deducted on your Federal tax return is still December 31, so if you donate to an STO this year and claim the credits on your 2014 Arizona state taxes, you cannot claim the deduction on your federal tax return until you file your 2015 federal taxes.

All information has been obtained from sources believed by The Biltmore Bank of Arizona to be accurate and reliable. However, you should consult your tax advisor before taking any action on topics discussed in this blog.

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↗ Linking to Non-Biltmore Bank Websites

This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Biltmore Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Biltmore Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Biltmore Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.