School district bond refinancing beats federal deadline

  • Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:51am
  • News

Officials with the Bainbridge Island School District recently closed two bond issues in a move that is expected to generate more than $1.24 million of debt service savings for Bainbridge Island taxpayers.

One bond issue was a $27 million new-money financing package that provides for a portion of the replacement cost for Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary.

The combined borrowing cost was 2.77 percent.

Officials said the new-money financing was the second series of bonds issued from the February 2016 $81.2 million bond measure approved by voters, and the tax-exempt refinancing effort beat an end-of-the-year deadline imposed by the new tax reform law.

District Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen praised the school board’s timely action and the work of the finance team.

“While we couldn’t anticipate the impact of federal tax reform, early authorization by the board of directors and favorable bond market conditions allowed us to achieve low-cost borrowing, and to seize the opportunity to lock-in savings for our taxpayers,” Bang-Knudsen said.

Moody’s Investors Service assigned its “Aa2” underlying rating to the bonds.

Moody’s cited such factors as affluent socioeconomic measures, growing tax base, improved financial operations/reserves, conservatively-managed operations, and strong voter support for the district’s levies as positive factors supporting the rating.

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