Sierra College Saves Taxpayers Approximately $830,000 on Bond Refinance

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During its April Board meeting, the Sierra College Board of Trustees authorized the refinancing of its existing bond debt for Measure H in the Tahoe-Truckee region (SFID, School Facilities District 1).

President/Superintendent William H. Duncan IV

The commitment to fiscal responsibility permeates our organization. This refinance saves taxpayers while not incurring any out of pocket costs to the District.

In November of 2004 Tahoe-Truckee voters approved Sierra College Bond Measure H by 68% and provided $35 million to fund facilities at the Tahoe-Truckee Campus. While the tax rate thus far has remained significantly below the originally estimated limit, $9.40 instead of $25 per $100,000 of assessed value, this refinancing saves the taxpayers even more, approximately $830,000 over 11 years.

The all-in borrowing cost for the new bonds is 2.36%. The District received this rate due to its highly credit worthy Moody’s Investors Service rating of Aa2. According to Moody’s this indicates that the District has “ VERY STRONG capacity to meet its financial commitments.“ In comparison, Sierra’s credit rating is one notch higher than California’s credit rating. All of the savings from the refinance will directly benefit only the taxpayers, but there will also be no out-of-pocket costs to the District.

“The commitment to fiscal responsibility permeates our organization,” observed Sierra Superintendent/President Willy Duncan, “from the Board of Trustees to the management and staff of the college, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to be excellent stewards of public funds.” This is not the first time the District has acted on behalf of the taxpayers to lower their rates. In 2013, the District refinanced bonds in both SFID 1 & 2 (Tahoe-Truckee and Nevada Counties) saving the taxpayers $6.1 million over time.

Another indicator of Sierra’s fiscal responsibility was reflected in the 2013-14 Independent Financial Audit of the District, completed by Crowe Horwath, LLP. When the draft was presented and accepted at the December 9, 2014 board meeting, the auditor commented “The audit was exceptionally clean with no material weaknesses found, no deficiencies reported, and no audit findings.”

Sierra College serves 3200 square miles of Northern CA with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four year Universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills. Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at: http://www.sierracollege.edu.

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Sue Michaels

William Duncan
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