The Tennessee State School Bond Authority (TSSBA) has closed a bond deal that will save the state $27.8 million while helping to finance construction projects at colleges and universities across Tennessee.
The members of the TSSBA are: Governor Bill Haslam, Comptroller Justin P. Wilson, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Treasurer David H. Lillard Jr., Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes, Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan and University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro.
Part of the savings was achieved because TSSBA officials made a strategic decision to eliminate the reserve fund that had been included on previous bond issues. Also, TSSBA took advantage of its strong credit rating and good market conditions to get the lowest interest rates in the authority’s history. Those favorable rates will result in additional savings over time.
The bonds aren’t general obligation bonds that will be repaid with taxpayer dollars. Instead, the bonds will be repaid with revenues – such as parking and dormitory fees – that are generated by the projects that are being financed.
“I applaud the hard work and creativity of our staffs in closing this bond deal,” said Comptroller Wilson, the authority’s secretary. “They found a way to finance key education projects while achieving substantial savings on the deal’s costs.”
“We’re focused on providing great customer service at the lowest price to Tennessee taxpayers,” Governor Haslam said. “These are important projects to our higher education institutions, and managing the state conservatively and having a strong credit rating were important pieces to receiving low rates that save Tennesseans money now and in the long term.”