The Mendocino-Lake Community College District (MLCCD) recently locked in $12.7 million of savings for local taxpayers by refinancing a portion of its existing general obligation bonds. MLCCD had previously taken advantage of a similar refinancing opportunity in 2015, saving taxpayers over $36.5 million. The combined savings from both bond refinancings now totals approximately $49.2 million, which will be realized by district taxpayers in the form of lower property tax bills.
Under the leadership of the MLCCD Board of Trustees, the district administration chose to take advantage of lower interest rates to refinance bonds from its Measure W authorization without extending the term of those bonds. MLCCD was able to reduce the interest rates on the prior bonds from an average of 5.13% to 4.23%, reducing the community’s tax bill by a total of $12,680,680 over the life of the bond refinancing.
Prior to the bond sale, MLCCD received a credit rating upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service. In its credit report, Moody’s noted that the rating increase from “A1” to “Aa3” is reflective of “continued solid growth in District tax base,” “steadily improving and strong reserves,” and “prudent fiscal management.” This high rating allowed MLCCD to attract a broad base of investors which included banks, insurance companies and investment/asset managers.
While MLCCD will not receive any part of the savings, the Board of Trustees and district administration pursued this opportunity strictly on behalf of local taxpayers as part of their continued support for MLCCD students.
“We are thankful to the residents of the Mendocino-Lake Community College District for approving Measure W in 2006," says Superintendent/President Tim Karas. "Bond funds were expended in December 2014 to build the North County Center (Willits), Lake Center (Lakeport), Library/Learning Resource Center (Ukiah), and provide other much needed facility improvements. As prudent stewards of public finances, we took action to lower local taxpayer bills.”