I’m not aware of any intention of the McHenry County Conservation District to borrow any more money if it doesn’t get new permission to issue non-referendum debt through state legislation.
Certainly, such an attempt was made this year, but, after passing the State Senate without a “No” vote, House Sponsor State Rep. Mike Tryon did not advance either the tax hike with a referendum bill (Senate Bill 3342) or the money-borrowing-without-a-referendum bill. (Senate Bill 3341).
Nevertheless, Moody issued a statement last week that started out,
Affects $132.9M GO debt
New York, May 30, 2014 — Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded McHenry County Conservation District, IL’s outstanding General Obligation Unlimited Tax and General Obligation Limited Tax rating to Aa1 from Aaa. The Aa1 rating applies to $124.3 million of GOULT debt and $8.6 million of GOLT debt outstanding. The unlimited tax debt is secured by the district’s general obligation unlimited tax pledge which benefits from a levy that is unlimited as to rate or amount. The limited tax bonds are secured by the district’s debt service extension base (DSEB) levy, which is limited in amount though benefits from an unlimited rate. A negative outlook has been assigned.
Among reasons cited for the downgrade are
- significant declines in assessed value
- pressured property tax revenues
- high debt as percent of operating revenues
- limited revenue raising flexibility as property tax rates reach statutory maximums
I asked for details on the outstanding $132.9 million in bonds, but have not yet received an answer.