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Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kimberly Murnieks announced the Ohio Public Facilities Commission closed on the refinancing of $185 million of outstanding general obligation debt, achieved $38 million in cash flow savings, and reduced interest costs to 1.22 percent from 4 percent.
The “refunding” bonds for debt originally issued in 2012 benefited from a historically low interest rate environment, sizable investor demand, and Ohio’ strong (AA+/Aa1/AA+) General Obligation credit ratings, which gained momentum earlier this summer when Fitch Ratings elevated the State’s rating outlook from “Stable” to “Positive.”
On a cumulative basis for the calendar year, OBM’s debt savings initiatives will save the General Revenue Fund (GRF) $260 million in cash flow in future fiscal years.
“I’m proud that our efforts have saved Ohio tax dollars this year and into the future. We achieved these results due to the State’s strong economic recovery, our ability to pay off some debt early, and our high-quality credit rating. Ohio is well-managed with strong leadership and conservative fiscal practices and investors notice – our fall transaction was five times oversubscribed”, said OBM Director Kimberly Murnieks.
Pricing alongside the refunding bonds, the OPFC sold $181.2 million of “new money” Infrastructure and Conservation bonds at an all-in interest rate of 2.02 percent.
The infrastructure sale supports grants and loans to local governments for investment in roads, bridges, and water and sewer systems. Proceeds from the sale of Conservation bonds, are utilized for green space preservation, recreational trails at Ohio’s state parks, and to protect and preserve farmland.
Citigroup served as senior managing underwriter along with KeyBanc Capital Markets as designated co-senior manager. PFM Financial Advisors LLC. provided financial advisory services.
Governor DeWine serves as chairperson of the OPFC while the OBM director serves as secretary. Additional members include representatives from the Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.