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Triple Triple-A bond rating helps Johnson County save $6.1 million

Today Johnson County issued two series of refunding bonds to pay off older debt obligations at a lower interest rate. Prior to the issuance, Johnson County Government earned Triple-A “stable” credit ratings…the highest credit rating possible…from Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investor Services and Fitch Ratings.

The Triple Triple-A ratings were one of the factors that led to Johnson County Government’s ability to beat the market Thursday by issuing a series of General Obligation Refunding Bonds for an aggregate principal amount of $25,540,000 at a 2.16 percent interest rate, saving $2.6 million, and a series of Lease Purchase Revenue Refunding Bonds in the aggregate amount of $41,725,000 at a 2.38 percent interest rate, saving $3.5 million. In total, the county will save $6.1 million over 10 years.

Also today, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners approved the issuance of a series of General Obligation Internal Improvement Bonds for an aggregate principal amount of $30,515,000 to fund Capital Improvement Projects for Johnson County Wastewater and for the acquisition of land for the Johnson County Airport Commission. These 20-year bonds were issued at a 2.85 percent interest rate.

“The report we received from Standard & Poor’s states that Johnson County can maintain better credit characteristics than the federal government in a stress scenario due to our financial flexibility and general fund balance,” said Chairman Ed Eilert, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners. “Decisions made in managing this organization continue to ensure our financial position and allow us to maintain Johnson County as a community of choice.”

The bond rating agencies made the following statements in their evaluations:

  • Fitch Ratings: The county’s diverse local economy is characterized by high wealth and low unemployment. An improving housing market and strong ongoing development contributed to solid assessed value growth for the fiscal 2016 budget.
  • Moody’s: Historically prudent and forward-looking financial management point to the continuation of solid financial operations.
  • Standard & Poor’s: We view the county’s management as very strong…the county uses extensive planning and analysis to devise revenue and expenditure assumptions based on historical trends and outside sources for its annual budget.