News Column

TIFIA Loan Application Approval Prompts Moody's to Issue 'Credit Positive' Statement for Loudoun

May 19, 2014



LEESBURG, Va., May 19 -- Loudoun County issued the following news release:

Moody's, one of the nation's top bond rating agencies, has issued a "credit positive" statement for Loudoun and Fairfax counties following the approval of the counties' applications for loans through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program.

With the approval, Loudoun is eligible for a low-interest loan of up to $195.1 million to help finance the extension of Metro Rail's Silver Line into Loudoun County. Loudoun's funding partners in the project, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and Fairfax County, also have been approved for TIFIA assistance. MWAA is eligible for credit assistance up to $1.28 billion, while Fairfax County is eligible for a loan of up to $403.3 million.

According to Moody's, the TIFIA loan application approval is "a credit positive because government officials expect the Metrorail extension to spur additional economic development that will help to further strengthen the counties' already sizable and diverse tax bases." The loan is expected to be closed in the summer of 2014.

The Moody's report cites a market and fiscal impact analysis conducted by the Robert Charles Lesser & Company which forecasts a fiscal impact for Loudoun of $386 million through 2040 as a result of the Phase Two Silver Line. The report anticipates a nine percent increase in housing units, a seven percent increase in office space, a nine percent increase in retail space and a six percent increase in hotel rooms over that period. These projections reflect a concentration of development along the Rt. 267 corridor, where the Metrorail stations will be located, as well as higher property values resulting from the project. The fiscal impact for the areas located directly around the Metrorail stations is forecast to be a higher $642 million through 2040.

The Moody's "credit positive" statement comes just days after Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings reaffirmed Loudoun's AAA rating on its general obligation bonds, noting Loudoun County's strong financial management practices and policies.

More information about Loudoun's finances is online at www.loudoun.gov/triple-a . More information about the extension of Metro Rail into Loudoun County is online at www.loudoun.gov/dullesrail.

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