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FLORIDA $95.8 MILLION GO DADE COUNTY ROAD REFUNDING BONDS 'AA' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida's $95.8 million full faith and credit, Dade County road refunding bonds, Series 1993, for bids on 24 hours' notice, are rated `AA' by Fitch. The bonds refund the outstanding $86.1 million Series 1989 bonds. Dated Jan. 1, 1994, the bonds will be due July 1, 1995-2019, with 2010-2019 maturities in term bonds at bidders' option with mandatory redemption. Optional call will begin July 1, 2004 at 101%. The state's $6.5 billion outstanding `AA' full faith and credit bonds are affirmed, and the credit trend remains stable.
 Nearly all of Florida's full faith and credit bonds are secured by specific revenues. Dade County road bonds are secured by and payable from net tolls of the system and the 80% portion of a two-cent constitutional gas tax distributed to Dade County. Pledged funds provided $22.1 million in 1992-93, 44% from net tolls and 56% from the gas tax, affording 3.2 times (x) coverage for estimated peak debt service. While projections of toll revenues may be somewhat optimistic, actual net toll revenues in 1992-93 alone provided 1.38x coverage of maximum projected debt service. A reserve equal to the lessor of 125% of average debt service, or 10% of proceeds, will be funded from bond proceeds. For additional issuance, pledged revenues must cover maximum debt service by 1.33x.
 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 is characterized by rapid growth, economic broadening, and diversification. Services and trade have developed extensively, supplementing and expanding the traditional agricultural/tourism base. While this has smoothed recessionary effects, growth in the past few years dropped sharply, and was complicated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Financial performance, however, has been better than expected. Revenues in 1992-93 were higher than estimated, enabling the year to close with a $543 million balance, 23% above the May estimate. Sales tax collections have lagged to date in 1993-94, 3.6% or $77 million below estimates, and were downwardly revised 2% at the November revenue estimating conference. Total net general revenues were reduced by 0.5%, and a larger amount was appropriated from balance. A year-end balance of $280 million is anticipated at June 30. Employment growth continues to accelerate, and in September was 1.6% above the prior 1990 peak.
 -0- 12/10/93
 /CONTACT: Ruth Corson Maynard, 212-908-0596, or Claire G. Cohen, 212-908-0552, both of Fitch/


CO: ST: Florida IN: SU: RTG

CK -- NY088 -- 2813 12/10/93 17:31 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 10, 1993
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