The purpose of this Debt Management Policy ("Policy”) of the Board is to establish overall parameters for the issuance, management, and continuing disclosure relating to the debt of the School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida ("Board”). Debt includes short-term and long-term obligations issued by the Board and any associated financing entities. In addition to this policy, the Superintendent shall maintain administrative procedures and guidelines to ensure compliance with this policy and with State and Federal rules and regulations related to the issuance of, and reporting related to, debt. The Policy is to be used in conjunction with Board policy 6146 "Derivative Debt Management.”
Scope and Authority
The Chief Business Officer ("CBO”) on behalf of the Superintendent shall be responsible for the implementation of this policy and the development of related administrative guidelines and procedures. This policy should be reviewed and revised as required or advisable due to financial market and regulatory changes, but not less than every 3 years.
All Debt shall be issued in compliance with applicable Florida Statutes and with Federal rules and regulations.
The Board will issue debt only for the purposes of construction or acquiring educational facilities, for making renovations to existing educational facilities, for acquiring equipment and for refunding outstanding debt when sufficient cost savings can be realized or if it is otherwise advantageous to do so. The Board may also enter into long-term leases for the acquisition of major equipment when it is cost effective to do so.
The Board will, at all times, manage its debt and sustain its financial position in order to seek and maintain the highest reasonable possible credit ratings.
The Board limits the use of debt to funding for acquisition, construction or renovation of projects or the acquisition of equipment that cannot be funded from current revenue sources, or where the use of current revenue sources is not recommend by the CFO and the Board’s Financial Advisor (the "FA”).
The Board prohibits the use of long-term debt obligations or the use of proceeds from such debt to finance current operations.
The issuance of short-term debt shall be limited to an aggregate term of not more than 5 years. The issuance of long-term debt shall be limited to the lesser of 125% of the average useful life of the project or 25 years, unless such longer term is recommended by the CBO and the FA.
Short-Term Debt includes, but is not limited to, Tax Anticipation Notes, Revenue Anticipation Notes, other short-term debt allowed under Florida Statues 1011.13 – 1011.15, and any other financing as approved by the Board in accordance with Florida Statutes.
Long-Term Debt includes, but is not limited to, General Obligation Bonds, Sales Tax Revenue Bonds, Capital Improvement Revenue Bonds, Certificates of Participation, and any other financing as approved by the Board in accordance with the relevant Florida Statutes.
Measures of Debt Levels and Debt Issuance Limits
Short-Term Debt. With respect to short-term debt, the Board will not exceed the maximum allowable issuance size, if any, as determined by state and federal regulations including those governing the federal taxability of the interest earned by holders of such debt
General Obligation Bonds. The measure of general obligation bonds shall be the outstanding debt-to-taxable property ratio and shall not exceed the maximum permitted by law.
Certificates of Participation. The measure of certificates of participation shall be maximum aggregate annual lease payments as a percentage of Capital Outlay Millage proceeds and shall not exceed the lesser of 75% or 1 mill. Capital Outlay Millage proceeds shall be based on the Board’s most recent estimate of Taxable Assessed Valuation and assume a 96% collection rate.
Sales Tax Revenue Bonds. The issuance of any sales tax revenue bonds for debt shall be subject to a provision of the Sale Tax Bond Resolution adopted by the Board.
Capital Improvement Revenue Bonds. The issuance of capital improvements issued in accordance with Florida Statutes shall be issued in an amount that, based on the pledged revenues distributed by the State, achieves a minimum of 1 times coverage of the maximum annual debt service in any year during which the bonds are outstanding. Capital improvement revenue bonds shall not be limited to a term of 25 years. Capital improvement revenue bonds issued to simultaneously refund existing bonds and to fund new projects shall not be subject to the refunding savings limitations of this policy.
Other. In accordance with Florida Statutes, and upon approval from the Board, the district may issue other long-term financings for various initiatives that may arise.
Methods of Sale
Short-Term Debt. Short-term debt shall be issued through a competitive bid process, or through a private placement or a negotiated sale, in instances where, in the opinion of Board staff in consultation with the FA, a negotiated sale is more cost effective or otherwise more beneficial because of market conditions or other factors
Long-Term Debt. The CBO in consultation with the FA shall recommend an underwriting team to the Board to assist with the he issuance of long-term debt and the implementation of the Board’s capital plan. The CBO and its financial advisor will recommend the appropriate method of sale and the appropriate number of firms to include on underwriting teams for each issue after considering such factors as the size, complexity of the offering, market conditions, and timing of the transaction
The financing structure consisting of principal amortization, call provisions, coupons/yields, credit enhancement, use of hedging products, etc. will be developed for each financing after considering relevant market conditions and then current practices. Each structure will be developed to provide the lowest long-term effective financing cost while providing the greatest flexibility to extract additional value as market conditions change over time (i.e. refund debt, terminate swaps, etc.)
Refinancing of Outstanding Debt
The CBO will monitor outstanding debt in relation to existing financial market conditions and recommend to the Board the refinancing/refunding of any outstanding debt when sufficient cost savings can be realized, or when other factors make such refinancings advisable. Primarily, the goal of any refunding of outstanding debt shall be to ensure the net present value savings is at least three percent (3%) of the refunded obligation’s par amount. The goal for the net present value savings threshold for non-traditional advance refunding structures (such as synthetic fixed rate refundings), should be at least four percent (4%) or as deemed appropriate by the Board, upon recommendation of the CBO and the FA. This general criterion will be adjusted as outlined in the Debt Management Guidelines.
Interest Rate Derivatives
Interest derivatives, including interest rate swaps, caps, collars, and other hedging products (collectively referred to herein as "derivatives”) can be an effective tool to reduce financing costs, diversify certain risks, and take advantage of unique market conditions. In evaluating and recommending the use of derivative instruments to the Board, the CBO hall be guided by Board Policy 6146 "Derivative Debt Management.”
Compliance and Reporting
Continuing Disclosure. The Board will provide full and fair disclosure in connection with the initial sale and distribution of its publicly marketed debt instruments and to provide ongoing secondary market information, in compliance with the requirements of applicable federal and state securities laws, rules, and regulations, including Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 15c 2-12.
Post Issuance Compliance. The CBO will develop administrative procedures to ensure post issuance compliance with applicable federal laws, rules and regulations.
Budget for Debt Service Payments. Annually the Superintendent will include in the proposed budget presented to the Board for its consideration and approval the appropriations necessary to make the required debt service and lease payments during the fiscal year.
Annual Report on Outstanding Debt. No later than December 31st of each year, an annual report shall be submitted to the school Board covering the previous fiscal year that will include a summary of outstanding obligations and any associated hedges. In addition to the annual report, the Board will maintain a database of other information related the Board’s debt.
Compliance with Financing Covenants, Federal, and State Law. The Board shall comply with all covenants and requirements of financing resolutions and State and Federal laws authorizing and governing the issuance and administration of debt obligations.
Bond Yield Arbitrage Monitoring. The Board shall contract for arbitrage calculation services to monitor the earnings on its debt proceeds for each debt series and determine whether a rebate is necessary.
Adopted December 5, 2017