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MOODY'S CONFIRMS THE 'A1' RATING ON COOK COUNTY'S GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS CITING NEW SALES TAX AS POSITIVE CREDIT FACTOR

 MOODY'S CONFIRMS THE 'A1' RATING ON COOK COUNTY'S GENERAL OBLIGATION
 BONDS CITING NEW SALES TAX AS POSITIVE CREDIT FACTOR
 NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Effective yesterday, Moody's confirmed the "A1" rating on Cook County's general obligation bonds in conjunction with the county's sales of $201,355,000 Series 1992 B and $229,410,000 Series 1992 C bonds, expected through negotiation Sept. 15, and Sept. 22, respectively. The Series B bonds fund various projects related to jails, health facilities, county buildings and equipment acquisition, and represent a component of the county's large capital program. The Series C bonds refund portions of previous debt issuances.
 In confirming the rating, Moody's noted that the county's recently enacted 0.75 percent sales tax is projected to generate a significant amount of revenue, approximately $262 million in fiscal 1993. The additional revenue from the sales tax should be adequate to cover operating deficits in 1993 and 1994. However, additional measures will be needed to close budget gaps in future years.
 The county's primary operational responsibilities are provisions of jails and health care, and associated expenditures have been rising sharply. Moreover, the need for additional facility capacity and other improvements has resulted in recent substantial debt issuance, with further borrowing planned. While present challenges are sizable, the county's substantial and diverse tax base continues to grow. In addition, the county's home rule status confers unlimited taxing authority for operations, although there appears to be a reluctance to increasing tax rates given the current anti-tax climate.
 The rating applies to $841,738,000 of county general obligation bonds.
 -0- 9/10/92
 /CONTACT: Harvey Zachem, assistant vice president, Great Lakes region, of Moody's Public Finance Department, 212-553-7731/ CO: Cook County ST: Illinois IN: SU: RTG


KD-PS -- NY071 -- 8114 09/10/92 14:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 10, 1992
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