Bond proceeds will be used to refund all of the county's outstanding special obligation bonds, senior series 2002A, series 2004A and series 2004B, and to fund a portion of the debt service reserve account for the series 2014 bonds. The bonds will sell on a negotiated basis on
In addition, Fitch affirms the following rating:
The Rating Outlook is Stable.
The bonds are special obligations of the county, payable solely from a senior lien on a special tax on all developed and undeveloped taxable real property within the
KEY RATING DRIVERS
HISTORICALLY STRONG COLLECTIONS: The special tax levy is included as a line item on annual property tax bills, enforced through a tax lien process in the same manner as other county property taxes. Historical collection rates are exceptional, and revenue from the levy is restricted to district purposes.
DELINQUENCY CUSHION: The district tax levy can be increased by 10% to allow for delinquencies, providing an additional cushion. The district is completely built out and no additional debt is anticipated. The value to lien ratio is high.
EXCELLENT ECONOMIC UNDERPINNINGS: Expectations for stable revenue performance are supported by a very stable regional economy anchored by the extensive presence of the federal government and related contracting employment, and marked by consistently low rates of unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and very high income metrics.
SUFFICIENT REVENUE AVAILABLE FOR DEBT SERVICE: The rating is sensitive to declines in pledged revenue due to delinquencies and tax base changes. Given recent assessed value (AV) stability, strong tax collections and the county's ability to adjust the tax rate, Fitch believes such risks are unlikely in the near term.
The district consists of approximately 666 acres of land in the West
STRONG TAX COLLECTION HISTORY AND PROCEDURES
Credit strength centers on the exceptional collection history of the pledged special taxes, consistently averaging greater than 99% on a current basis. The special taxes rank on parity with and are collected on the same tax bill as general ad valorem property taxes. Property owners do not have the option of partial payment.
The county covenants to enforce the collection of special taxes through a tax lien sale, which occurs on the second Monday in June as per county code, two weeks prior to the
STRONG SECURITY PLEDGE; NO ADDITIONAL DEBT PLANS
The county can adjust the tax rate to meet annual debt service requirements in response to changes in AV. The county also may increase the special tax levy above the annual requirement by up to 10% to cover delinquencies. The county does not intend to issue additional parity debt on behalf of the district.
The annual tax rate historically has been set at an amount that will generate essentially sum sufficient coverage. The 10% delinquency cushion mitigates concerns regarding non-payments, which typically have been minimal. A cash funded debt service reserve for the series 2014 bonds provides further support and will be sized at the lesser of maximum annual debt service (MADS), 125% of average annual debt service or 10% of par.
DIVERSE AND STABLE DISTRICT TAX BASE
Concentration is minimal within the district, with no single land owner responsible for more than 0.12% of the fiscal 2014 special tax levy. Since the district's inception AV has increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5%, but recent gains have been more modest. AV increased by an average annual rate of less than 1% between 2011 and 2014 and was
ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE REMAINS VERY STRONG
While the rate of job growth within the county has not been robust, it has been steady. The county's unemployment rate historically has been well below state and national averages, and the 4.5% rate for
Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.
In addition to the sources of information identified in Fitch's Tax-Supported Rating Criteria, this action was additionally informed by information from CreditScope,
--'Tax-Supported Rating Criteria' (
--'U.S. Local Government Tax-Supported Rating Criteria' (
Tax-Supported Rating Criteria
U.S. Local Government Tax-Supported Rating Criteria
Source: Fitch Ratings
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