The Rancho Santa Fe School District successfully re-funded its general obligation bonds in July, saving the taxpayers more than $2.8 million. Superintendent Lindy Delaney shared the good news at the Aug. 20 board meeting.
“Our community provides tremendous support to foster student education, and this bond re-funding is a way to do something meaningful for the taxpayers,” Delaney said. “In addition to providing a strong education program and a safe environment for our students, we also are keenly aware that we play an important role in being financial stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”
The re-funding bonds, totaling $33.2 million, were originally authorized under three separate bond elections. In March 1991, district taxpayers approved a $2.7 million general obligation (GO) bond with 84 percent of the vote. In March 2004, district taxpayers approved a $4.8 million GO bond with 63 percent of the vote, and in February 2008, a $34 million GO bond with 71 percent of the vote.
The proceeds were used to finance new construction, reconstruction, and renovation of facilities on the R. Roger Rowe campus.
Instrumental to the $2.8 million in savings was a renewed AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Rating Services. The S&P AAA rating is the highest rating a municipal government can obtain, allowing the district to borrow at the lowest rates possible.
Delaney, Business Manager Roya Saadat, and the finance team presented information to S&P, highlighting the positive attributes of the district. S&P cited as credit strengths, “very strong fund performance, low level of funding interdependencies with the federal government, and low overall net debt burden.”
“I am very pleased with the outcome, as the district was able to take advantage of a low interest rate environment to save the district’s taxpayers nearly $3 million in interest payments,” said RFS School District Board President Todd Frank. “Though this benefit doesn’t accrue to our annual operating budget, it does expand our future ability to finance our wonderful facilities — just good and prudent fiscal management.”
Property owners in the district will see a reduced tax rate on future tax bills.