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FLORIDA FACILITIES POOL REVENUE REFUNDING BONDS RATED 'A+' BY FITCH -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The $167.1 million State of Florida Facilities Pool Revenue Refunding Bonds selling March 3 are rated "A+" by Fitch. The issue was originally rated on Aug. 21, 1992; however, the sale did not occur. The credit trend is stable.
 Bonds are payable from revenues derived from the leasing to state agencies of a pool of state office buildings under the jurisdiction of the Division of Facilities Management (DFM). Proceeds will refinance two of three series of bonds issued to fund office facility construction projects. While bond payment depends on annual legislative appropriations, the pool of 49 facilities contains the large majority of state-owned office buildings, including new facilities financed through this program beginning in 1986 as well as pre-existing facilities. The state legislature authorized the program, and specifically approved each project and the bonds issued to finance them. Central controls are strong. The DFM oversees office space leasing by state agencies. Additionally, if an agency fails to make payments when due, the controller shall withhold the unpaid amounts from the agency's general revenues and allocate them to the division.
 The state's general obligation bonds are rated "AA" and its economy is 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 pressure for more infrastructure, educational facilities, and other needs required in a state that is now the fourth largest in the U.S. Yet, debt has remained moderate and financial operations are in balance, although the overdependence on the sensitive sales tax creates vulnerability both to recession and to longer term slower growth in the taxable base.
 -0- 3/2/93
 /CONTACT: Richard J. Raphael of Fitch, 212-908-0506/


CO: ST: Florida IN: SU: RTG

GK -- NY058 -- 1902 03/02/93 11:32 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 2, 1993
Words:324
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