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MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Maryland Department of Transportation's $75 million Consolidated Transportation Bonds, Series 1992, to be offered for bids on July 22, are rated 'AA' by Fitch. The 'AA' rating is affirmed on $895.8 million in outstanding parity bonds. The credit trend is stable.
 The bonds are payable from certain taxes and charges received by the department. Specifically, pledged taxes consist of portions of the motor fuel, motor vehicle titling, and corporate income taxes. If these sources are insufficient to pay debt service, other revenues of the department are available, including motor vehicle registration fees, an additional portion of the corporate income tax, and net revenue generated by the department's facilities.
 The bonds' credit strength lies in the department's broad revenue base and areas of control. As the entity responsible for all aspects pertaining to the entire state-owned transportation network, the department has the ability to do comprehensive capital planning and channel available revenue to its most needed use. Bond security provides strong debt service coverage, which will remain high despite future issuance, given a sound 2 times additional bonds test. Pledged tax growth has been slow in recent years, reflecting both general trends in highway related taxes and the effects of the recession, which has been longer and deeper in Maryland than had been anticipated. A gas tax increase this year and prospective federal funding have, however, allowed an expansion in the 1993-98 capital plan.
 -0- 7/16/92
 /CONTACT: Amy Doppelt, 212-908-0514 or Claire G. Cohen, 212-908-0552, both of Fitch/ CO: Maryland Department of Transportation ST: Maryland IN: SU: RTG


SM -- NY123 -- 0034 07/16/92 18:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 16, 1992
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