El Paso - city dia

City: Refinancing of Bonds saves more than $11 Million

According to a Monday afternoon release from the City of El Paso, a recent round of refinancing, coupled with low interest rates and budgetary work, they have saved taxpayers $11.4 million. 

“The City’s leadership in proactive financial investments has been part of a deliberate focus over the last six years resulting in interest earned and savings. This work has paid off with maintaining our bond rating of AA,” said Chief Financial Officer Robert Cortinas.

“The Council and City staff have worked hard to save our community millions of dollars during a pandemic and illustrate our commitment of protecting taxpayers while still addressing our community’s priorities.”

Per the City’s release, officials say they were able to take advantage of extremely low-interest rates to refinance the old debt and save more than $11 million, with the goal of minimizing the impact to taxpayers. Additionally, the City issued $141 million of bonds at an interest rate of 2.58 percent (compared to the standard 4 percent) saving the City about $32.6 million over the life of the new bonds.

Officials add the bonds will allow the City to begin and complete previously voter- and Council-approved projects to include the Eastside Regional Command Center and the Children’s Museum.

The city’s release included the following breakdowns:

Due to the City’s purposeful financial planning the City has been able to:

    • Increase its fund balance (i.e., the City’s savings account) by $41.6 million or 125 percent
    • Create a budget stabilization fund (i.e., the City’s rainy-day fund) that now has $16.8 million
    • Create annual set-aside funds to address streets and public safety capital replacement which minimizes the use of debt and addresses community priorities
    • Strategically refinance old City debt to generate $58.1 million in savings, since 2016

The City also outlined the City’s Budget Calendar, which includes:

    • Late May: City to receive 2nd updated preliminary tax roll from Central Appraisal District
    • June 8: Presentation and recommendation on Over 65/Disabled exemptions
    • June 22: Presentation and recommendation on Over 65/Disabled exemptions
    • July 25: Receive Certified Tax Roll from Central Appraisal District
    • July 29: Present Certified Tax Roll and Ordinance Introducing Tax Rate
    • August 10: Public Hearing on Tax Rate
    • August 24: Adopt FY 2022 Budget and Tax Rate

Officials add that on Tuesday, May 11, the City anticipates reporting an additional $7 million in savings with the refinancing of the ballpark debt thus lowering the overall cost of the ballpark. The awaited savings would increase the total refinanced savings from $58.1 million to more than $65 million, since 2016.