OLYMPIA, WA. – Washington Treasurer Duane Davidson and his Debt Management division are creating additional local government financing opportunities.
Under Treasurer Davidson’s direction, the Office of the State Treasurer is increasing the frequency of Certificates of Participation (COP) sales, which give local governments the option to borrow at the state’s low tax-exempt financing rates, from just twice a year to three times a year.
“We are helping local governments who cannot always wait six months to purchase new equipment,” Treasurer Davidson said. “When a fire truck or ambulance is out of commission, they need a new one now, not six months from now.”
COP’s pool various financing requests by state agencies and local governments, consolidating them into one security sold in the market. This pooled approach provides economies of scale and lowers the interest costs for governments that are not achievable individually.
Feedback from local governments identified a greater need for the frequency of financing opportunities offered by the state. The State Treasurer’s Local Option Capital Asset Lending (LOCAL) Program is one of the COP Programs offered by the Treasurer’s Office. Local governments can use the Program to finance equipment and real estate projects.
Matt Schoenfeld is the State Treasurer’s Program Administrator who heads the LOCAL Program. “Our team is improving access to the financing that communities need. I look forward to continuing our work, increasing the exposure of our program so we may better serve the communities of Washington,” said Schoenfeld.
At the latest State Finance Committee meeting, which Treasurer Davidson chairs, $436,573,000 in financing contracts were authorized to be entered into, and Certificates of Participation issued during the 2019-21 Biennium. Of this amount, $200,000,000 in funds are available to local governments to finance equipment purchases and real estate acquisitions and construction.
“This is a big step to getting local governments access to financing for the equipment purchases they need at times they need it most,” Treasurer Davidson said.