Moody's Investors Service has completed its review and downgraded to Aa1 from Aaa the general obligation unlimited tax and general obligation limited debt of Dublin City School District, Ohio.
Concurrently Moody's assigned a Aa1 rating to the district's $15.9 million school facilities construction and improvement bonds, Series 2013A; $14.1 million refunding bonds, Series 2013B; and $2.8 million refunding bonds, Series 2013C.
Post-sale, the district will have $171.8 million of general obligation debt outstanding.
The Series 2013A, 2013B and 2013C bonds are secured by the district's general obligation unlimited tax pledge which benefits from a dedicated property tax levy unlimited as to rate or amount. Proceeds from the Series 2013A bonds will finance various capital improvements throughout the district; proceeds from the Series 2013B and 2013C bonds will current and advance refund various maturities of the district's outstanding debt for net present value savings.
The lack of distinction between the unlimited and limited tax rating is due to the state requirement that Ohio school districts use all available revenues, including available property tax millage currently assigned to operations for the district or overlapping entities under the ten-mill limitation statutory code, for the payment of debt service prior to any other uses.
The downgrade and subsequent assignment of the Aa1 rating reflects the district's exposure to two statewide multi-employer cost-sharing pension plans; the district's sizeable and affluent tax base within the Columbus (GO rated Aaa/stable outlook) metropolitan area; strong financial operations characterized by healthy reserves which are expected to decline in the medium term; a solid history of voter approval for bond and operating levies despite a recent failure; high; and above average debt burden.
The district's rating was placed on review due to its large net pension liability relative to its rating category.