District homeowners and taxpayers benefit from district’s sound financial work, excellent credit rating, and historic low interest rates
February 27, 2020—Taxpayers throughout the Renton School District will benefit from the district’s solid financial management, excellent credit rating, and a favorable bond market. The district this week successfully completed the first sale of school construction bonds which were overwhelmingly approved by voters in the school construction measure on the November 5 ballot. The district’s sound financial position permitted it to raise $125 million in construction funds while securing an historically low interest rate of 2.2%. These resources will be used to fund construction projects at schools across the district and to build a new elementary school.
Investors were attracted by the district’s very strong Aa1 credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service. The bond financing process garnered substantial interest from investors and was sold through a public offering led by the securities firm Piper Sandler & Co. The bonds were purchased by investors from around the country, consisting mostly of professional money managers, banks, and insurance companies. By law, this funding is to be used only for school construction projects, renovations and upgrades; it cannot be used in the general fund or as part of the work to balance the 2020-2021 budget.
Superintendent Damien Pattenaude said the bond sale is consistent in meeting expectations of voters and taxpayers. “We are in good shape when it comes to meeting our commitment to our community,” said Dr. Pattenaude. “These are important needs in our schools, and we are very appreciative of the community’s continued support for our students and our schools.”
Dr. Fred Maiocco, the district’s Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Superintendent led the efforts to move quickly to secure the funding at a favorable time for the district. “This is a very good time to borrow money to complete these important projects for the Renton community” said Dr. Maiocco. “Because of these historically low interest rates, district taxpayers will see significant savings in borrowing costs over the life of the issue.” Dr. Maiocco also noted that while the remaining bonds approved by voters will be sold in coming years, it currently looks like the total cost of the bonds will be significantly lower than initially planned.
Renton School District voters overwhelmingly approved an important ballot measure to support student learning on the November 5, 2019 ballot. Even with approval of the measure, tax rates for district property owners will not increase.
Building for Excellence Bonds to Improve, Construct and Renovate School Facilities will allow for important projects at nearly every school in the district including:
- construction of a much-needed additional elementary school in the fast-growing northeastern (Highlands/Sunset/Hazen High) area of the district
- additional science classrooms at high schools
- renovations and upgrades to other schools
- roofs and boilers
- safety and security
- school playground and athletic fields
- and much more
- View a school-by-school list of projects.
What will the measure cost?
Because of improved assessed property values and the many additional families and businesses that have moved into the Renton School District boundaries, this measure will not increase tax rates.
That means the owner of a median priced home of $400,000 will have saved more than $572 per year in Renton Schools property taxes since 2017.
Click the tab marked Q&A below for more answers about the Nov. 5, 2019 Bond measure.