Walker County Refinances Bonds, Saving Taxpayers Nearly $4 Million

LaFayette, GA – A plan put in motion two-months ago to refinance a series of previously issued revenue bonds will save Walker County taxpayers nearly four-million dollars.

Moody’s Investor Services assigned an A1 credit rating to Walker County for the Series 2019 bonds, which replace Series 2015 bonds.  Four years ago, the county’s credit was considered to be junk by the financial industry, which resulted in a high interest rate and additional fees.

Moody’s based its rating on “the county’s recovering financial position following years of structural imbalances that substantially eroded the county’s reserves and liquidity, resolution of the county’s outstanding liability with the hospital authority,” and other factors involving economics and local government finances.

The improved credit rating, along with an increased demand for bond products in the market this week, helped the underwriter sell the Series 2019 bonds at a low rate of 2.64%, a significant improvement from the original rate of 5.2% tied to the Series 2015 bonds.

“The taxpayers of Walker County are the real winners today,” said Commissioner Shannon Whitfield.  “Together, we’ve worked hard to restore our county’s credibility by targeting debt reduction.  The fruits of that labor are starting to be realized.  We reduced the term on this bond by nearly five years, which will save the taxpayers $3,921,475.”

The Walker County Development Authority (WCDA) issued the Series 2015 bonds on behalf of Walker County Government, in order to fund the completion of infrastructure at the Walker County Industrial Park and provide funding for basic county government operations.

Commissioner Whitfield signed off on the $14.5 million bond purchase agreement during a called meeting today.