WASHINGTON – The state of Maryland will hold a competitive sale of $1.036 billion of tax-exempt state general obligation bonds on June 8, according to the state treasurer's office.
The state will use the proceeds from the sale to finance capital projects including those involving schools, community colleges, universities and hospitals. The sale will include one competitive bid that is expected to be sold to institutions.
Ahead of the sale, three major bond rating agencies – S&P Global Ratings, Moody's Investors, and Fitch Ratings -- re-affirmed Maryland's triple-A bond rating, all with stable outlooks. Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp said the ratings will help lower interest rates, benefit state taxpayers and allow for infrastructure improvements. Kopp said the sale will be the state's only bond sale this year. Her office expects to conduct another bond sale in February or March of next year.
"This achievement allows us to continue to invest in our communities, notably our schools, libraries, institutions of higher education, healthcare facilities and cultural projects important to the residents of our state," Kopp said.
The Maryland Board of Public Works, which includes Kopp as well as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and state comptroller Peter Franchot, will preside over the sale to be held at the Goldstein Treasury Building in Annapolis.
Maryland is one of nine states to receive a triple-A rating from the three rating agencies; the others are Delaware, Virginia, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and Utah.
S&P officials cited a broad and diverse economy, strong wealth and income levels, and well-developed financial and debt management policies as contributing to the AAA rating and stable outlook for Maryland's bonds.
The rating agency, which has rated Maryland's bonds AAA since 1961, attributed the stable outlook to "recent improved economic growth and structural budget alignment with projected growth in state reserve levels."
Moody's cited strong liquidity levels, a stable economy and high personal income levels behind its Aaa rating.
"The state has proactively addressed its structural budget gap and pension funding challenges even under historically slow economic growth conditions," Moody's officials said.
Fitch said its rating for Maryland reflects "its broad, diverse and wealthy economy, extensive budget controls and sound financial operations, and strong management."
Fitch also assigned a AAA rating to Maryland's $8.4 billion in outstanding state general obligation bonds and a AA+ rating to $18 million of series 2015 Maryland Transportation Authority parking lease revenue bonds. Fitch also assigned $114.6 million of Maryland Stadium Authority lease revenue bonds to AA+ from AA.
The Maryland Stadium Authority issued $320 million of Baltimore City Public Schools construction and revitalization program revenue bonds in April. That sale was used to finance the repair or replacement of up to 28 Baltimore school facilities over the next five years.