Bethel taxpayers will save nearly $7 million

Bethel School District taxpayers will save millions of dollar, thanks to record low bond rates. The School Board has approved the refinancing of part of the district's outstanding bonds, resulting in almost $7 million in savings over the next 12 years, accoding to district officials. The board had contemplated a bond refinance for the past two years, and decided that now is the time because Interest rates on the bonds is at or near a 40-year low. The refinancing was approved April 15 meeting, and the bond sale occurred May 6. The new bond interest rate of 2.54 percent offers a substantial savings over the previous rate of 4.08 percent, officials said. Superintendent Tom Seigel emphasized that the savings will go directly to taxpayers through lower future tax collections. "This was a good opportunity to save our taxpayers a significant amount of money,GÇ¥ Seigel said. "We wanted to make sure to use this opportunity wisely.GÇ¥ As part of the sale, Moody's Investors Services assigned the district a credit rating of Aa2 for sustaining balanced budgets and maintaining prudent financial reserves through difficult financial times. The rating takes into account factors such as the size of the tax base, area employment and economic growth. It's one of the highest ratings available and affirms the district has a low credit risk, officials noted. "This is a strong credit rating, just one notch lower than the state of Washington. It will definitely help Bethel district taxpayers in the future by lowering borrowing costs,GÇ¥ Siegel said.


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