South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) recently issued $26,425,000 in General Obligation Refunding Bonds, which will save District property owners more than $3.6 million in taxes over the next 18 years.
The District took advantage of interest rates that were near all-time lows due to the COVID pandemic and economic uncertainty to refinance bonds originally sold in 2015 when interest rates were higher. This is similar in purpose to refinancing a home mortgage by paying off existing debt with funds borrowed at a lower interest rate.
Measure "J" was authorized by more than 55% of South San Francisco Unified School District voters in 2010 to fund various school facility improvements and modernization efforts. The bonds, a form of municipal government loan, were to be repaid over time from property taxes. The refinancing of the 2015 Series B General Obligation Bonds (Measure J) will save District property tax owners over $3.6 million in taxes over the life of the loan.
“We see ourselves as good stewards of our community’s resources,” said the district’s superintendent, Dr. Shawnterra Moore. “We were able to take advantage of a unique opportunity to save money for our families and business community; this was something we could not pass on.”
Just prior to the bond refunding, the District received an affirmation of its very strong “Aa1” credit rating from Moody’s Investor Service. This rating places the District among roughly the top 15 percent of California school districts, reflecting the District’s strong financial management, steadily growing tax base, and above-average economic profile. The pricing process was very successful with the total orders received were 2.5 times the number of bonds the District was offering, from 18 different institutional investors.
“We are extremely happy to have completed the refinancing in a way that sends every bit of the benefit directly back to the community,” said John Baker, president of the SSFUSD board of trustees. “This is a way for the board and the district staff to thank our neighbors that make our work possible.”
With this financing, property owners in the district will see savings via reduced tax rate on future tax bills.