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Will County Refinances Bonds to Save Taxpayers $20 Million
Anastasia Tuskey
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Will County Refinances Bonds to Save Taxpayers $20 Million

Favorable bond market provides opportunity for county to pass on savings

Through strategic financial planning and consistently high credit ratings, Will County will save more than $20 million in debt service payments on existing bonds over the next 25 years, or an average savings of $821,295 per year.

The county was able to refinance $170.8 million in General Obligation Bonds at a much lower rate, which will yield significant savings in debt payments over the remaining life of these bonds. The funds from these bonds were used to complete the Adult Detention Facility and to finance ongoing road projects in the Build Will program.

“We always want to be judicious with taxpayers’ dollars,” said Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. “Just like a homeowner watching for the best mortgage rates and going to a lender when the time is right to refinance and save money, we too in county government have a great opportunity to save dollars during these incredibly tight times.”

Will County has maintained an AA+ rating from Standard and Poor’s, which is the agency’s second highest rating, and an Aa1 rating from Moody’s Investor Service, this agency’s second highest credit rating, for several years which has enabled the county to secure competitive interest rates on bonds.

“The County Board is committing to completing our major capital projects while doing them in the most financially responsible manner for our taxpayers,” said Speaker Mimi Cowan. “Working with the County Executive’s staff the County has realized significant savings by successfully completing this refinance of our previous bonds which ultimately saves our taxpayers dollars.”

The county has maintained a cash reserve policy for more than a decade. The policy requires the county to have cash and investments balance at year’s end equivalent to 25 percent of its upcoming budget. This “savings plan”, strong financial management, and a diverse tax base all contribute to the county’s strong financial rating.

Bertino-Tarrant added, “Will County has a long reputation of strong financial health. I am committed to maintaining this reputation with prudent financial decisions.”

“Through our previously established financial policies, Will County has maintained our strong fiscal health despite very challenging times,” said Minority Leader Mike Fricilone. “This refinance success is a testament of the County Board creating strong fiscal practices and this was reflected in the credit agencies affirming our strong fiscal ratings again.”

“As Chair of the Finance Committee, I am very pleased to see that Will County is projected to realize savings of over $20.5 million over the remaining life of the previously issued bonds,” said Board Member Ken Harris. “This savings eases the burden on our county budget and ultimately the residents of Will County.”
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