January 21, 2005
MECKLENBURG COUNTY'S "SOUND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT" BRINGS LOW INTEREST RATE FOR BOND SALES
Charlotte, NC - On January 19, 2005, Mecklenburg County sold $32.3 million in general obligation (GO) bonds at an interest rate of 3.98%. The interest rate is nearly ½-percent below the 20 Bond Buyer Index, which is the national composite rate for similarly rated governments. This is one of the most favorable interest rates Mecklenburg County has received below the 20 Bond Buyer Index.
County taxpayers received the best interest rate on these bonds because the County has been given the highest rating possible by the three major bond rating agencies. Moody's, Standard and Poor's and Fitch Ratings all gave Mecklenburg County a Triple-A bond rating for the sale of these GO bonds. The rating agencies also reaffirmed the Triple-A bond rating on the balance of the County's bonds outstanding.
"The rating reflects favorably on the financial integrity and management of debt by the County, despite rapid growth in population and capital needs," said Harry Weatherly, the County's finance director. "The excellent interest rates - as compared to the bond buyer index rate - will represent substantial savings in interest costs to Mecklenburg County taxpayers over the life of the bonds."
In issuing their ratings, all three rating agencies, Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investors Service, and Standard and Poor's, cited Mecklenburg County's sound financial management and the solid and diverse growth in its economic base.
Proceeds from the $32.3 million bond sale will provide funding for construction of community college, court and park and recreation facilities. These bonds were approved in November 1999 and 2004 referendums. Additionally, in February, the County will sell variable rate general obligation bonds in the amount of $100 million and certificates of participation in the amount of $113.1 million. These bonds and COPS will fund school, community college, library, court and park and recreation facilities.