Jacksonville, Florida, sold $290 million in bonds to make capital improvements.
The city sold the bonds in two series. The Series 2023A bonds, consisting of $259.5 million, mature between 2024 and 2053, yielding between 3.07% and 4.35%. The Series 2023B bonds, consisting of $30.9 million, mature between 2024 and 2026, yielding between 3.15% and 3.34%. The securities received a rating of AA from S&P Global Ratings, AA- from Fitch Ratings, and AA from Kroll Bond Rating Agency.
The rating, which is one notch lower than Jacksonville’s issuer default rating, “reflects the statutory priority to the payment of essential governmental services over debt service, and the inability to compel the city to generate NAV revenues sufficient to pay debt service,” Fitch analysts wrote, referring to non-ad valorem revenue, or that which is unrelated to property values.
The issuance comes as the city’s financial position strengthens. When the fiscal year ends on September 30, Fitch anticipates that the city will register its seventh consecutive year of general fund surplus.
Meanwhile, the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year has been buoyed by a 15% rise in property taxes, based on an increase in assessed valuation. That allowed the city to increase its budget by 14% without a significant alteration in the percentage it uses for government spending.
Jacksonville is Florida’s most populous city. The bonds are limited obligations of the city, payable by the city’s covenant to budget and non-ad valorem revenue.
Raymond James & Associates, Inc served as lead underwriter on the issuance.