County saves taxpayers nearly $1 million with court refunding bonds

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced his Department of Management and Budget is saving Oakland County taxpayers $977,000 on refunding bonds for 52-3 District Court. The savings is due to Wall Street's recent reaffirmation of the county's AAA bond rating.

"Such significant savings during these challenging economic times allows my staff to maintain a high level of customer service for Oakland County residents and businesses," said Patterson. "This is great news for our taxpayers."

The AAA rating and subsequent savings are due to the county's three year budget process, according to Moody's Investors Services. "The long-term planning positions the county to successfully weather the economic downturn," Moody's says.

Management and Budget Director Laurie VanPelt says the county will work to continue to identify ways to save taxpayers money and maintain the AAA rating, which becomes more difficult to do as southeast Michigan struggles to regain its economic foothold. "We have one mission in Management and Budget--to find savings where we can so the county maintains a balanced budget."

The refunding bonds refinance $12.56 million in bonds that funded the construction of the new 52-3 District Court building in Rochester Hills. Essentially, it is like refinancing the mortgage on a house when there is a lower interest rate. In Oakland County's case, the high AAA credit score allows the county to refinance the bonds on the district court at a 2.77% interest rate.

Published: Tue, Mar 16, 2010