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News Story
Updated: 03/13/2014 05:35:00PM

County bond rating gets upgrade

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By SCOTT LOCKWOOD

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SARASOTA COUNTY — Thanks to an increase in taxable property values, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has raised its long-term rating on Sarasota County’s limited ad valorem tax bonds to A- from BBB+.

The rating reflects the company’s opinion of evidence of some tax-base stabilization, with values increasing 4.1 percent in fiscal 2014; stronger annual debt-service coverage in fiscal 2013; a revised debt-service schedule following a 2011 defeasance — a provision that voids a bond or loan when the borrower sets aside cash or bonds sufficient enough to service the borrower’s debt — with lower payments through 2019; the county’s demonstrated willingness to step in when coverage falls to low levels to ensure that debt service on the bonds is paid from lawfully available funds.

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