South Texas College saves taxpayers more than $3.6 million from 2020 bond refunding
Students walk in front of STC’s North Academic Building “P” in the fall of 2019 at the college’s Pecan Campus in McAllen. The building was just one constructed as a result of STC’s $159 million bond passed in 2013. This month, the college announced it sold a total of $41 million in limited Ad Valorem Refunding Bonds which saved taxpayers more than $3.6 million.
On July 1, 2020, South Texas College sold a total of $41 million in Limited Ad Valorem Tax Refunding Bonds which saved the College and taxpayers more than $3.6 million in debt service providing a reduction in ad valorem taxes to the residents in Hidalgo and Starr Counties. The 2020 Refunding Bonds received strong ratings from two major rating agencies.
The College’s Board of Trustees authorized administration to pursue potential refinancing options in March 2020.
“The rating agencies acknowledged the College’s strong financial position. This combined with the current historically low interest rate environment allowed the College the opportunity to save millions of dollars in interest costs. These savings will directly benefit the taxpayers of Hidalgo and Starr Counties. We continually look for opportunities to achieve debt service savings.” said STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed.
The 2020 Refunding Bonds were rated “Aa2” and “AA” by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, respectively.
"These savings will directly benefit the taxpayers of Hidalgo and Starr Counties. We continually look for opportunities to achieve debt service savings.”
Moody’s noted in their rating assessment that the Aa2 rating is supported by a large tax base in South Texas with stable student enrollment, a strong financial position effectively steered by a seasoned management team, and manageable debt and pension burdens.
Standard & Poor’s noted that their AA rating reflects our opinion of the College’s deep and diverse property tax base, which benefits from growth spurred by international trade; strong finances with stable overall operations and very strong reserves; and good financial management policies and practices.
The sale included a total of $41 million in refunding bonds for interest cost savings to refinance the Limited Ad Valorem Tax Bonds previously issued in 2014. Overall, the transaction produced total savings of $4.4 million and net present value savings of $3.6 million with an overall true interest cost of 2.19%.
The interest cost savings that resulted from this bond sale will allow for the reduction in debt service costs funded by taxpayers in Hidalgo and Starr Counties.
Hilltop Securities Inc., served as Financial Advisor. The J. Ramirez Law Firm served as Bond Counsel. Underwriters were Estrada Hinojosa as Senior Manager with Raymond James and Jefferies as Co-Managers. Underwriter’s Counsels were Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and The Perez Law Firm, PLLC.