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High credit ratings lead to lower borrowing costs for King County

High credit ratings are helping King County lower the cost of borrowing money to fund critical life safety and infrastructure improvements.

On Monday, the County sold $94.6 million in bonds to refinance outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds involving Harborview Medical Center. The bonds were originally issued in 2004 to fund seismic improvements at the facility.

The County’s outstanding “AAA” credit rating led to very favorable bids for the bonds. Ten investment banks and securities firms entered bids, with the winning bid coming from J.P. Morgan Securities.

J.P. Morgan offered an interest rate of just 1.7 percent. With this very low interest rate, the County expects to save a total of $16.4 million between now and 2023, the final maturity date of the bonds. The savings in debt service payments will be passed on to taxpayers in the form of lower levy amounts for these voter-approved bonds.

Harborview Medical Center is owned by the people of King County and operated by the University of Washington.

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