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COOK COUNTY (ILL.) $130 MILLION TAX ANTICIPATION NOTES RATED 'F-1+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Cook County, Ill.'s $130 million General Obligation Tax Anticipation Notes, Series of June 1993, are rated 'F-1+' by Fitch. The notes, due April 1, 1994, are expected through negotiation on or about June 9 by a syndicate led by William Blair & Co.
 The highest short-term rating assigned to these tax anticipation notes (TANs) reflects the strong projected payment coverage provided by property tax collections as well as Cook County's strong credit fundamentals. The county has the flexibility to utilize available resources other than property taxes, if needed.
 The TANs are issued to provide operating resources, as there is a lag between the county's fiscal year and property tax collections. This year's issuance is one-third smaller than last year's primarily because newly imposed sales taxes, slightly lower property tax levels, and consolidation of notes into one issue lessen cash flow borrowing needs. The TANs will be repaid from the first installment of property taxes due March 1, 1994.
 In previous years, separate TANs were issued for each of the county's main operating funds. This year's issuance consists of one consolidated TAN, which will be allocated by the county to meet cash flow needs of two of the county's three operating funds. Property taxes from all three funds are available for repayment and coverage is expected to be strong at 1.8 times (x). Budgeting and cash flow assumptions are conservative. Overall tax collections have averaged more than 98 percent over the last five years. Should property tax collections fall far short of projections, other moneys would be available for note repayment. Projected coverage is about 2.0x when the election and pension tax levies are included. Operating fund cash balances after note repayment are projected to total $148 million. In addition, motor fuel cash balances, which have averaged $90 million-$100 million, could be utilized, if needed.
 The county's broad economic base, which includes the City of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, provides a strong foundation to meet its general and other obligations. Some continued economic sluggishness is indicated by employment figures. Hospital and detention facility requirements have grown rapidly, pressuring capital and operating resources. However, the county has taken measures to maintain budgetary balance, including the imposition of a sales tax for operational purposes. Despite additional planned issuance, debt ratios should remain affordable.
 -0- 6/3/93
 /CONTACT: Stewart Simon, 212-908-0508, of Fitch/


CO: ST: Illinois IN: SU: RTG

LR -- NY017 -- 4816 06/03/93 09:13 EDT
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Date:Jun 3, 1993
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