CHICAGO - Hit with two ratings downgrades, Cook County, Ill., will enter the market as soon as tomorrow with a $507 million new-money and refunding general obligation issue that will include taxable Build America Bonds. Meanwhile, debate among the county's leaders continues over the status of a controversial 1% sales tax increase.

The transaction includes $256 million of refunding bonds for savings and $251 million of new money that is expected to be sold as BABs with a back-loaded maturity schedule. The county will apply for the federal government's 35% direct-pay interest subsidy under the BAB program.

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