High credit rating saves county more than $16 million

July 24, 2012

By Staff

Solid credit ratings helped King County lower borrowing costs to fund health and safety improvements.

The county sold $94.6 million in bonds July 16 to refinance outstanding general obligation bonds related to Harborview Medical Center. The facility is owned by King County and operated by the University of Washington.

The county issued the Harborview bonds initially in 2004 to fund seismic improvements to the hospital. The county’s AAA credit rating led to favorable bids for the bond refinancing.

The top bids for the bonds came from J.P. Morgan Securities at a 1.7 percent interest rate. The low interest rate means the county should save $16.4 million through the bonds’ maturity date in 2023.

Officials said the savings in debt service payments can then be passed on to taxpayers in the form of lower levy amounts for voter-approved bonds.

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