Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica and Malibu Tax Payers to Save $2.8 Million on Bond Repayment
By Jason Islas
January 14, 2013 -- Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District officials have reduced the amount of money taxpayers will have to pay back on loans used to fund capital improvement projects on campuses throughout the district.
Officials announced that by refinancing part of the loans taken out against the $268 million bond measure known as Measure BB, which was approved by voters in 2006, some $2.8 million will be shaved off the total repayment costs.
Those savings, District officials said, will directly benefit residents who repay the loans through property tax increases.
SMMUSD Chief Financial Officer Jan Maez said that the District consulted with financial advisers and found that “we could lower the interest rates on that first borrowing that we made against the bond authorization.”
“The lower interest rate would mean less repayment,” she said.
The strong reputation of SMMUSD -- which has the highest credit ratings available to school districts -- made it very easy to find buyers for the bonds, Maez said.
“Bonds being sold by the SMMUSD are very attractive bonds in that market,” she said. “People who are buying those bonds have a lot of confidence.”
Of the total $268 million that voters authorized in 2006, another $83 million in bonds remains to be issued.
The District has been funneling the Measure BB money into construction projects throughout SMMUSD, including a new Science and Technology building at Santa Monica High School.
And in November, voters approved Measure ES, giving District officials the green light to borrow another $358 million to pay for more building repairs and capital improvements.
Maez said that she expects the District to begin borrowing against Measure ES approval later this year.
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