School district plans to refinance bonds

  • Jennifer Aaby<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:56am

SHORELINE — The Shoreline School Board adopted a resolution at its Jan. 24 board meeting to save taxpayers approximately $1.5 million.

The school board decided to go ahead with the recommendation of Superintendent Jim Welsh and refinance some of the district’s old bonds to reduce future debt-service payments.

“Every taxpayer will directly benefit from this,” Welsh said.

The school district has the option to refinance its bonds, similar to how homeowners can refinance their houses when interest rates drop, said Paul Flemming, district comptroller.

“We’re lowering our monthly payments by refinancing,” Flemming said.

The IRS limits the number of times bonds can be refinanced to one, therefore the school district is always paying close attention to when refinancing would be most beneficial to the school district and taxpayers.

“We want to make sure we have at least a 5-percent savings,” Flemming said.

Welsh said he is pleased taxpayers in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park have continued to show support of the school district by approving its bonds and levies.

“It makes the district and the board feel great in giving back some of the trust that the taxpayers originally placed in us,” Welsh said.

During the refinancing process, two bond-rating companies gave the school district very high ratings, Flemming said. The companies’ ratings are looked at by investors for the sale of future bonds, so high ratings are important and beneficial to the school district.

“For both of these firms, this is one of the highest bond ratings given to school districts in Washington,” Flemming said.

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