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Published: Thursday, 11/1/2012

Toledo Public Schools says move will save area taxpayers about $5M

BY NOLAN ROSENKRANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo Public Schools officials have conducted a second round of bond re-funding, saving taxpayers about $5 million in the latest round.

The district completed a similar refinancing of facilities debt in January. In total, TPS has re-funded more than $86 million in bonds, reducing interest costs by about $10.2 million, Treasurer Matt Cleland said. The district received pricing on the bond replacement Thursday and will close on the deal Tuesday.

The bonds helped finance Building for Success, a decade-long program that involved more than $600 million in renovation, rebuilding, and demolition of buildings. Refinancing savings will go directly to property owners in slightly reduced tax payments instead of the district’s general fund.

“The district does not benefit from this,” Mr. Cleland said. “It’s a direct savings to the taxpayers.”

Though done just days before the district asks voters to approve 10-year, 4.9-mill levy, the bond re-funding was timed for economic, not political reasons, he said. Treasury officials and the district’s bond team took advantage of low interest rates offered now.

Board of Education President Lisa Sobecki said the re-funding shows how much effort TPS officials put into saving tax dollars.

“This ... displays to the taxpayers that Toledo Public Schools are good stewards of their money,” she said.

The two refinancings will save the owner of a $100,000 home about $116.37 over the life of the bonds. There are still about $35 million in bonds the district can re-fund from the project, which could result in added tax reductions.



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