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Florida Capital Issues $65 Million in Bonds

By Munichain News Desk

Tallahassee, Florida, sold $65.1 million in bonds to finance the construction of a new campus for the city’s police department and other capital improvements.

The bonds mature between 2025 and 2054, yielding between 2.95% and 4.25%. They pay interest at 5%. The securities received a rating of Aa2 from Moody’s Investors Service and AA+ from Fitch Ratings.

“The Aa2 rating assignment is driven by the city’s sizable and growing economy with an expanding tax base and population that will continue as credit strengths,” Moody’s analysts wrote.

The bond proceeds will fund a new headquarters and firing range for the Tallahassee Police Department. 

The issuance comes amid rising crime in Tallahassee and surrounding Leon County. Between 2010 and 2020, the homicide rate in Leon County nearly doubled from 5.46 per 100,000 people to 9.68, according to a study published last October by Florida State University. That increase has led some local officials to call for increased funding to the Tallahassee Police Department.

The bonds will also finance the construction of a new parking garage as well as infrastructure and transportation improvements.

Tallahassee is the capital of Florida, with a population of about 200,000. The bonds are payable by a lien on certain city revenue including a half-cent sales tax and a public service tax. Moody’s estimates that those taxes will comprise 80% of the revenue pledged toward paying the bonds’ debt service.

RBC Capital Markets, LLC served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the bonds for $69.9 million. The price reflected a premium of almost $5 million. PFM Financial Advisors LLC acted as financial advisor.

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