Dec 232016
 

Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investor Service Rate the Monroe County School District’s Sales Tax
Revenue Bonds as Investment Grade

The Monroe County School District (MCSD) announced yesterday that two rating agencies (Fitch Rating and Moody’s Investors Service) awarded the School District A+ and A1 ratings, respectively. These ratings will allow the School District to achieve a lower borrowing cost to meet upcoming construction financing needs through the issuance of Sales Tax Revenue Bonds.

The Half-Cent Sales Tax levy is a sales tax levy dedicated exclusively to school construction, security projects, and technology. This levy was renewed by the voters of Monroe County in November 2014 for a period of ten years starting January 1, 2016 and ending on December 31, 2025. The half-cent sales tax generates approximately $17.75 million annually, which will be used to repay the bonds.

The Sales Tax Revenue Bonds have no impact on the District’s operating budget, which funds staff and other day-to-day expenses because sales tax revenue cannot be used for operating expenditures. This allows MCSD to issue long-term debt for building projects without impacting classroom funding.

MCSD plans to finance the replacements for Plantation Key School and Gerald Adams Elementary School as well as a portion of the new constriction, remodel, and renovation at Stanley Switlik Elementary School.

In addition, the recently completed Annual Financial/Federal Programs Audit for the 2015-2016 School Year was issued by the State of Florida Auditor General’s Office with the result of “no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies.” Such outstanding audit results in combination with MCSD’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and other relevant financial data contribute to the positive ratings received from the rating agencies.

In response to the outstanding rating results and recent audit results, Superintendent Mark Porter said, “I am extremely proud of the efforts and due diligence of our Finance Department under the direction of Mr. Jim Drake for these positive results. We have come a long way over the past four years to restore the financial stability and accountability of the Monroe County Schools.”

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 December 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:32 am Issue #198, News, Public Notice  Add comments

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