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FLORIDA'S $250 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 FLORIDA'S $250 MILLION GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS RATED 'AA' BY FITCH
 -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --
 NEW YORK, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The state of Florida's $250 million full faith and credit, State Board of Education, Public Education Capital Outlay bonds, 1992 Series B, are rated 'AA' by Fitch. This is the first time that Florida has requested a rating by Fitch and the existing 'AA' rating on $5.2 billion outstanding general obligation bonds has been removed from full general review. The credit trend is stable.
 The new bonds are offered for bids tomorrow. They will be serials, due June 1, 1992-2022, and become callable initially June 1, 2002, at 101 percent. The public education capital outlay bonds, of which $3.2 billion are outstanding, are full faith and credit obligations of the state, secured by gross receipts taxes constitutionally required to be deposited in the public education capital outlay and debt service trust fund. The annual average of the preceding 24 months collections of the taxes must provide 1.11 times coverage for maximum debt service and currently, coverage is about 1.30 times.
 The credit considerations for bonds of the State of Florida must take into account not only general characteristics of its debt, financial and economic positions, but also the legal dedications of specific taxes for each type of debt, in addition to the full faith and credit pledge. The dedications, combined with coverage requirements for issuance, insulate debt security to a large extent from fluctuations in the condition of the general fund. All general obligations are well protected by their pledged revenues.
 The state itself may be characterized by rapid growth, economic broadening and diversification. The economy has been transforming from a narrow base of agriculture and seasonal tourism into a service and trade economy with substantial insurance, banking and export participation as well as greater year-round attraction. This has brought pressures for more infrastructure, educational facilities and other needs required in a state which is now the fourth largest in the country. Yet, debt has remained moderate and financial operations in balance, although the over-dependence on the sensitive sales tax creates vulnerability both to recession and to longer term slower growth in the taxable base.
 -0- 8/3/92
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen of Fitch, 212-908-0552/ CO: ST: Florida IN: SU: RTG


PS -- NY086 -- 6329 08/03/92 16:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 3, 1992
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