Highine schools refinance construction bonds, saving $12 million

Highline Public Schools press release:

Highline Public Schools has refinanced a portion of the district’s outstanding capital bonds, taking advantage of a 40-year low in interest rates.

By reducing the interest rate from 5.23 percent to 2.43 percent, this transaction will save taxpayers over $6.6 million over the next thirteen years.

Combined with two other refinancing transactions over the past year, the district has reduced interest costs by nearly $12 million.

“We are grateful for the generous support of our Highline voters who approved capital bonds that ensure our students and staff have safe schools in which to work and learn,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “Refinancing at this time allowed us to demonstrate that Highline Public Schools is a responsible steward of the funds that our voters entrust to us.”

Taxpayers benefit directly from these savings. Refinancing bonds is similar to refinancing a home mortgage. Locking in a lower interest rate reduces the overall cost of paying back the bonds, and the savings stays in the pockets of property owners.

“We have been watching interest rates, looking for opportunities to save the public money,” said Highline Assistant Superintendent Susan Smith Leland.

The bonds refinanced in this most recent transaction were approved by voters in 2002 and 2006, and paid for the replacement of 13 aging elementary schools and Mount Rainier High School.

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