Thursday, July 16, 2009
Culver, Fitzgerald: I-JOBS Bond Sale Saves Iowa Millions
DES MOINES - Governor Chet Culver and State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald announced today that the sale of $601 million in bonds for I-JOBS has been completed, and the result will save the State of Iowa millions of dollars each year. These bonds represent the largest portion of funds for the $830 million I-JOBS initiative.
The State budgeted $55 million annually from existing gaming revenue to finance the I-JOBS bonds without a tax increase. However, due to Iowa's AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor's, overall strong financial position, and the structure of the bonds, the annual debt service on the bonds will be approximately $43.2 million, which is funded by existing state gaming revenues.
Iowa is one of only 11 states in the nation with a AAA bond rating. Standard & Poor's re-affirmed Iowa's rating on June 30.
"Iowa's strong fiscal management means we can take steps to create jobs and improve our economy that few other places across the nation can do," said Governor Culver. "And thanks to our strong fiscal management, it means we can take bold action to move our state forward while saving Iowa taxpayers millions of dollars in the process."
"This underscores the importance of maintaining Iowa's strong credit rating," added Treasurer Fitzgerald. "Investors are impressed with the state of Iowa and put their money on the table to show it. Investor confidence drove the interest down."
Proceeds from the bond sale will be transferred to the State on July 22 in order to begin the effort of creating and retaining jobs and improving public infrastructure projects throughout Iowa.
The Culver/Judge I-JOBS program will invest $830 million over the next two years to create and retain jobs, strengthen the economy, recover from last year's natural disasters, and improve Iowa's infrastructure. The funds will be used to upgrade Iowa's roads and bridges, invest in renewable energy projects, improve water quality, and upgrade public facilities such as the Iowa Veterans Home. I-JOBS is funded with existing gaming revenue, meaning no increase in taxes.
For more information about I-JOBS, visit www.ijobsiowa.gov