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 NEW YORK, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's $225 million full faith and credit, state board of education, public education capital outlay bonds, 1992 series D, are rated `AA' by Fitch. Florida's $6.1 billion outstanding `AA' full faith and credit bonds is affirmed. The credit trend remains stable. The new bonds, offered for bids on Aug. 21, will be due June 1, 1994-2023, with maturities in 2009-2013 subject to designation as term bonds with mandatory redemption, at the bidders' option. Bonds will be callable beginning June 1, 2003 at 101 percent.
 Nearly all of Florida's full faith and credit bonds are secured by specific revenues. The public education capital outlay bonds are secured by second and third liens on the gross receipts tax, subject to $136.3 million first lien public education bonds. Collections have risen rapidly, with annual rate changes since 1990 and base enlargement. While issuance of additional debt requires 1.11 times (x) coverage (90 percent of the collection average of the preceding 24 months), the tax yield provides a 1.29x coverage level of debt service on the $4.3 billion bonds issued for this purpose. The new bonds are secured by a third lien on the gross receipts tax.
 Florida's credit assessment takes into account the specific tax dedications for each type of debt as well as the full faith and credit of the state. The state's profile may be characterized by rapid growth, economic broadening, and diversification. Services and trade have developed extensively, supplementing and modifying the traditional agricultural/tourism base. While this has smoothed recessionary effects, growth has dropped sharply in the past few years, complicated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Although pressured by the adverse economy, financial performance is better than expected, with slower growth in social service expenditures. Revenues in 1992-93 are higher than estimated, and a balance of $441 million is anticipated, nearly 9 percent above earlier estimates. Operations in 1993-94 will reduce reserves to about $276 million at year-end.
 Employment growth has accelerated in recent months, led by the construction industry's rebuilding efforts after the hurricane. The state's unemployment rate held at 7 percent in July, while the U.S. rate dropped slightly to 6.8 percent.
 -0- 8/27/93
 /CONTACT: Claire G. Cohen, 212-908-0552, or Ruth Corson Maynard, 212-908-0596, both of Fitch/

CO: ST: Florida IN: SU: RTG

MP -- NY031 -- 6624 08/27/93 12:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 27, 1993
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