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Briefly In Education

August 26, 2010

Bond refinancing saves tax funds

The Laguna Beach Unified School District recently took the opportunity of historically low interest rates to refinance its General Obligation Bonds and save local taxpayers $2.45 million in property taxes.

Local taxpayers approved the General Obligation Bonds in a 2001 election, with more than 80% of district voters approving the sale of the bonds. The proceeds of the bonds were used to make major renovations at all four of the District's schools.

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"The community stepped up to support the district when our facilities were in dire need of renovation and updating for new educational programs," Board of Education President Ketta Brown said. "We considered it our responsibility as partners with the community to take this opportunity to lower taxes for Laguna Beach taxpayers."

Asst. Supt. of Business Services Normal Shelton said the key to achieving the savings was that the new bonds issued by the District to accomplish the refinancing received the highest possible ratings for California public school bonds from both Standard and Poor's and Moody's rating agencies, resulting in the most advantageous interest rate and marketability of the bonds.

"For many years, our Board of Education has made prudent fiscal decisions resulting in strong fiscal stability," Shelton said. "These decisions have resulted in the District being one of only a handful of the approximately 1,100 public school districts in California to earn an AAA rating, which is the highest rating possible from Standard & Poor's rating agency."

She went on to say that in issuing its rating, Standard and Poor's characterized the District's financial position as "very strong" and noted in particular the strong reserve levels maintained by the District.

The bond refinancing was accomplished without any direct cost to the District and did not extend the maturity dates of the bonds, according to the district.

"The refinance was executed for the sole benefit of our local taxpayers and the Board was very pleased to be in a position to realize these savings for the community," Brown added.

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Pampering with a purpose

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach invites women to wiggle into their skinny jeans, slip into their favorite pair of heels and grab a friend to come together for a night of "ladies only" pampering, shopping and socializing Oct. 7 at the Wilson home, 100 Rockledge, Laguna Beach.

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