SUWANEE -- Officials with Gwinnett County Public Schools plan to meet Thursday night to authorize the issuance and sale of $275 million in Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax bonds to be paid back with sales tax proceeds.
In addition the board plans to vote to refinance $35.8 million in existing bonds.
"The refunding (refinancing) will save between $1.4 and $1.5 million interest costs over the next three years," said Sloan Roach, executive director of communication and media relations with the school district. "This action allows the district to take advantage of lower market interest rates."
Gwinnett County's registered voters approved an extension of the education SPLOST Nov. 8 by about 60 percent with a voter turnout of about 14 percent.
Education SPLOST IV is a measure that allows the system to collect a projected $876 million from retail sales to improve technology, build schools and make renovations during a five-year period.
For the past 15 years, Gwinnett County Public Schools has used the education SPLOST to construct 46 schools, helping the district keep up with enrollment growth.
The current one-cent sales tax for education expires on June 30, 2012. Education SPLOST IV will collect from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2017. Of the projected $876 million, about $17.1 million is earmarked for Buford City Schools through an intergovernmental agreement approved by both systems.
According to Roach, GCPS recently received notice that the district has maintained its Aaa rating, "another factor that allows the district to get the best rates possible."
Roach said GCPS is one of 16 school districts in the nation with a Aaa rating from both rating agencies including Standard and Poor's and Moody's Investors Services.
According to Moody's Investors Services, an Aaa rating is "the highest quality and lowest credit risk" on the bond rating system scale.
The Gwinnett County Board of Education plans to meet at 6:15 p.m. Thursday with a public forum, followed by a monthly business meeting at 7 p.m. at 437 Old Peachtree Road, Suwanee.
For more information, visit www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us.