The refinancing of $228.54 million in state general obligation bonds saved taxpayers $12 million, state Treasurer John Kennedy said Tuesday.
“We refinanced to generate savings on money that was borrowed to fund construction projects across Louisiana,” Kennedy said in a prepared statement shortly after completion of the refinancing. “Just like homeowners refinance their mortgages, we refinanced bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates.”
Investors expressed great interest in the refinancing issue, placing more orders for the bonds than could be met, the treasurer’s office said.
Louisiana was competing for interest against Hawaii’s $1 billion general obligation sale.
“We were up front with investors about our budget problems, and interest did not diminish,” said Kennedy. “We achieved great savings for Louisianians.”
The state ended the last fiscal year June 30 with a $140 million operating deficit as spending outpaced revenues coming in. Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols argued that there is actually a surplus because of newly-identified left over cash from prior fiscal years. The legislative auditor is currently reviewing the data the administration used to determine the state’s fiscal shape.