New Jersey’s Bergen County issued more than $130 million in bonds to refinance its existing debts and make capital improvements.
The bonds, which were issued by the Bergen County Improvement Authority, mature in one year and pay an interest rate of 4.5%. They received a rating of MIG 1 from Moody’s Investors Service, the highest rating for short-term municipal bonds. The bonds mature on May 31, 2024.
“The Borrowers will apply the proceeds of the Borrower Loans to (i) refinance certain of the outstanding bond anticipation notes of the Borrowers issued to temporarily finance capital improvements; (ii) temporarily finance capital improvements and (iii) pay certain of the costs of issuance of the Notes and the Borrower Notes,” according to the official statement accompanying the sale of the bonds.
The issuance is part of a six-year improvement program led by the county, New Jersey’s most populous. The capital plan, which began last year and calls for $790 million in new investment by 2027, will be backed by taxes, bond issuances, and other sources of financing. About half will be directed toward improvements to the county’s park and golf facilities.
The issuance comes amid rising tax revenue for the county, driven by a surge in real estate values. Property values have risen by 10 percent since 2018, and the county has run an increasing budget surplus every year since then.
NW Capital Markets Inc served as lead underwriter on the issuance. The bonds were purchased for around $134 million, reflecting a premium of more than $1 million.