Arlington Secures Low Interest Rate in $153 Million Bond Sale

Published on June 07, 2018

  • Low 2.99 percent interest rate thanks to County's triple-Aaa bond rating
  • Financing supports previously approved capital investments in schools, parks, Metro and more
  • Development of County's next proposed bond referenda now underway

On June 6, Arlington County sold $153 million in Series 2018 General Obligation Public Improvement Bonds at a low interest rate made possible by the County's triple-Aaa bond rating.

Proceeds from the sale will finance capital improvement projects previously approved by County voters and the County Board in 2010, 2014 and 2016, including:

  • $92.4 million for Arlington Public Schools projects
  • $33.2 million for Metro and local transportation projects, including street paving and street lights
  • $21.1 million for community infrastructure projects, including planning and construction of the Lubber Run Community Center
  • $6.7 million for parks and recreation projects, including trail maintenance and planning for Jennie Dean Park

The County typically sells general obligation bonds every year to finance approved capital improvement projects. Voters approve the bond financing of these projects via the bond referenda placed on the fall ballot every two years.

Sold in a competitive sale on June 6, the 2018 series bonds received a total of seven bids. Wells Fargo, NA was the winning bidder with a 2.99 percent average interest rate.

That rate is the highest the County has seen in recent years, as interest rates nationally are once again on the rise. However, the County was able to secure the lowest possible rate in the current environment thanks to its triple-Aaa bond rating, earned through conservative budget management and strong fiscal operations.

The nation's three main ratings agencies, Moody's, Fitch, and Standard and Poor's, all recently reaffirmed the high rating, but emphasized continued adherence to existing debt policies to ensure a similar rating in the future.

"Maintaining our triple-Aaa rating has allowed Arlington to finance several critical County and Schools infrastructure investments at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers," said County Manager Mark Schwartz. "As we work toward approval of our next 10-year Capital Improvement Plan this summer, it is important that we continue to adhere to the responsible financial policies that will help us retain this rating going forward."

Schwartz recently presented his proposed FY 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which includes $141 million in new bond funding for voters to consider this fall. The County Board is currently reviewing the Manager's proposal and gathering public feedback before adopting a FY 2019-2028 CIP in July.

Learn more about the County's bond program and FY 2019-2028 CIP, including how to share your feedback.