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Florida County Issues $296 Million in Debt

By Munichain News Desk

The School Board of Marion County, Florida, sold $295.9 million in certificates of participation to finance school improvements and refund previously issued securities.

The certificates mature between 2026 and 2044, yielding between 2.95% and 3.98%. They received an insured rating of AA from S&P Global Ratings and an underlying rating of A1 from Moody’s Investors Service, which assigned a stable outlook.

“The stable outlook reflects our view that the expanding local economy will continue to support the district’s enrollment growth trend and that fund and cash balances will remain stable and in line with operating revenue and budget growth,” Moody’s analysts wrote.

The school board will expend the proceeds from the sale of certificates on the construction of four new schools as well as improvements to many existing schools. The certificates will fund the construction of two new elementary schools, a new middle school, and a new high school.

The school board will also use the proceeds to refund bond anticipation notes it sold last month.

Marion County is in central Florida, about 90 miles north of Orlando. The country’s 51 schools currently enroll 44,637 students.

The certificates are limited obligations of the county’s school board, payable by lease payments that it appropriates annually.

BofA Securities, Inc served as lead underwriter on the issuance, purchasing the certificates for $330 million. The price reflected a premium of $34.7 million and a discount of $640,000. PFM Financial Advisors LLC acted as municipal advisor.

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