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VOL. 35 | NO. 40 | Friday, October 7, 2011




State to sell estimated $584 million in bonds

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NASHVILLE (AP) — The state of Tennessee plans to sell an estimated $584 million worth of bonds this week, the largest sale in the state's history.

The sale Tuesday through Thursday will use some of the proceeds to pay for new capital projects and infrastructure. These include economic development grants for Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Wacker Chemie in Bradley County, Hemlock Semiconductor in Clarksville and Electrolux in Memphis.

According to a state news release, these projects are expected to create 4,650 new permanent jobs, plus thousands more construction jobs and jobs in related industries.

The proceeds will also finance improvements to various state-owned buildings and properties across Tennessee, including a new research building for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus, a new library for the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga campus, a prison in Bledsoe County, renovations to state office buildings in Nashville and a new driver license center in Memphis.

The sale includes both taxable and tax-exempt bonds.

"This sale represents an excellent opportunity for people to buy Tennessee bonds," State Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. "The major ratings agencies have reaffirmed, once again, that our state is financially well managed and therefore has strong credit worthiness."

He also said it's a chance for the state to save taxpayer money by capitalizing on low interest rates.

Last week, two bond rating agencies, Fitch and Moody's Investors Services, reaffirmed Tennessee's AAA rating, the highest available. A third agency, Standard and Poor's, reaffirmed Tennessee's AA+ rating, the second highest available.

The agencies praised the state for its sound financial management, low debt burden, well-funded pension plan and adequate reserves. They did express concern about a possible reduction in federal funding and the overall health of the economy.

The previous r ecord for a state bond sale was $389.6 million in 2009.

The bonds will also be issued to refinance outstanding bonds to take advantage of low interest rates. Over time, the refunded bonds could save the state up to $10 million in interest costs.

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TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0