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Bond Sale Nets Historically Low Interest Rate

  • Charles County
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On Tuesday, April 6, Charles County sold more than $25 million in tax-exempt Consolidated Public Improvement Bonds to Bank of America Merrill Lynch at a favorable interest rate of 2.49 percent.  The County also sold $11 million in taxable Build America Public Improvement Bonds, at an interest rate of 3.339% to J.P. Morgan Chase. 

“I'm extremely pleased with 2.49 percent.  It’s a great interest rate, and I’m very impressed. As far as we know, this is the lowest interest rate the County has ever received,” said Commissioner President Wayne Cooper.  “A lot of times we’re criticized for trying to run the County in a businesslike manner.  We’re not here to make a profit but we do have to break even. A $300 million government is big business, in my opinion, and it needs to be managed as such.”

Commissioner Vice President Edith J. Patterson (District 2) said, “[The interest rate] is phenomenal.  I think we owe ourselves a round of applause for what has transpired, for the AAA bond rating, and for the number of bids received.” 

The County received a total of 13 competitive bids for the tax-exempt bonds, and 7 bids for the taxable bonds. For the seventh year in a row, the County used PARITY® online bidding system, which provides online access to the bids and allow the Commissioners to see all bids received within moments after they are submitted. 

“The reaction to the AAA bond rating and the reference to recalibration only tells part of the story,” said Commissioner Gary V. Hodge (District 4).  “It is worth noting that some of the ‘tightest’ government fiscal managements are now being warned by bond rating agencies to restore money to their fund balances.  That’s something that this County has been solid on since day one.  The AAA rating and today’s interest rates show the wisdom of that.”

Commissioner Samuel N. Graves, Jr. (District 1) commented, “This is something I think every County employee can take credit for and hold their heads up high. Through this process, we have frozen positions, continued providing services to citizens, with fewer employees…we shrank the number of employees in County government without cutting services.  I want to thank every County employee that shouldered the weight of what was done here.”

The successful bond sale is the outcome of the efforts of all of the Commissioners and the Charles County government staff, specifically the Department of Fiscal & Administrative Services, who made presentations to three bond rating agencies in New York City last month.

“We’ve been put in the position to make fiscally responsible decisions but it requires the wise advice of staff and people that are in place to help in making the county a sound government,” said Commissioner Reuben B. Collins, II.  “It’s something we’ve worked hard to achieve, and we’re seeing the fruits of our labor here today.”

“I want to compliment the board of County Commissioners and our staff for a job well done,” said Commissioner Cooper.  “It’s a great team…we’re working together as a strong team.”

 

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