Have you refinanced your home recently to take advantage of low interest rates?
Public institutions are thinking that way, too.
The Foothill-De Anza Community College District trustees voted to reduce bond costs for taxpayers Monday night by authorizing the refunding of outstanding general obligation bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates, according to spokeswoman Becky Bartindale.
With rates for tax-exempt bonds currently at or near an all-time low, the board voted to authorize the refinancing of a portion of Measure E and Measure C general obligation bonds that were authorized 12 years and five years ago, respectively. Similar to refinancing a home, the refunding will reduce existing debt service on previously issued outstanding bonds, decreasing the annual tax rate for property owners in the Foothill-De Anza district.
The district plans to refinance approximately $77.6 million of the bonds, according to Bartindale, saving taxpayers about $690,000 in estimated debt service costs every year through 2030, or about $13 million in total savings.
"While these savings do not come to the district, they will benefit property owners who support Foothill-De Anza's bond program," said board President Joan Barram."
District voters approved the sale of $248 million of Measure E bonds in 1999 and $490.8 million of Measure C bonds in 2006 to pay for capital improvements in the district. Bond funds cannot be used to pay for academic programs and other operating expenses.
"We are grateful to local voters for their investment in preserving and enhancing Foothill and De Anza colleges for the continued use of the community for decades to come," said Chancellor Linda Thor. DeAnza and Foothill serve a combined total of about 65,000 students annually.
The bonds have made it possible for the district to prolong the life of original campus buildings and update aging facilities with new buildings, classrooms and labs that are equipped with modern-day technology and built to high energy-efficiency standards, Thor added.