2016 Deal of the Year: Far West Region

Who won this year's Deal of the Year award for the Far West Region? The winner will be honored on Thursday, December 1 at 583 Park Avenue in Manhattan, and later that night will compete with winners in the seven other categories for the right to be named The Bond Buyer's 2016 Deal of the Year.

VOICE OVER: The San Diego Unified School District delivered a deal that smashed the template for local GO bonds in California to benefit students and taxpayers. California school bonds were long rated on the strength of school districts operating budgets even though the special property taxes that we pay the GOs aren't part of those budgets. San Diego USD and it's seal teamwork to convince rating agencies and investors to evaluate its GO bonds based on the dedicated taxes that support them. They sought a special legal opinion to support that paradigm shift along with state legislation declaring local GO debt to be subject to a statutory lien. This resulted in rating upgrades that help the deal spreads tighten by between 18 and 37 basis points from the San Diego district sale five months earlier, and since then San Diego unified deal, at least 18 other districts and governments have benefited from the new rating criteria for local GOs. The winners here is students who benefit from their school districts easier, more affordable market access, and taxpayers will get smaller bills because the GO bonds they authorized will pay lower interest.