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Thursday, September 23, 2010

For the record

We promised that we'd post the official, final numbers on the interest rates for last week's big SoWhat District mortgage party by the City of Portland. Here they are. The tax-exempt 20-year bonds sold at 4.380% yield, which ain't cheap money by today's standards.

Comments (4)

The bond interest rates are high because the reality of SoWhat is known by the bond sellers and buyers-SoWhat is broke. The anticipated TIF dollars coming in even according to PDC Financial Staff is less than predicted even three months ago. And with Sam stealing an additional $10 Million from SoWhat in TIF dollars for Milwaukie Light Rail, it is even further in debt. The bond purchasers are not dumb.

Sub 5 on this kind of debt is still pretty cheap. These are the kind of bonds that don't get bought. They get sold. If tax assessments don't keep up, and there's not much reason to think they will, is the issue backed by the General Fund? If so, it's not cheap. If not, and it's purely a revenue bond, it's cheap. As in, they were expensive to buy. As in, not a good deal for the bondholders, but I'm sure it was, "Hey, these are double tax-free!"

"Sub 5 on this kind of debt is still pretty cheap."

That's not the issue. Pretty soon they'll rob from the cash flow that is supposed to repay this debt fo some BS project. Once they realize this then they'll borrow more later to pay this off and have some money to make new payments with - which means more debt.

The sense of desperation to do some of these hare-brained projects NOW is palpable. YOu can just see them looking in the sofa cushions for money to do that bike bridge across the Willamette ASAP.

I'm sure Sam is thinking he can be the next Charlie Hales if he's not mayor and be the front man for one of these groups that only exist becasue they can convince weak-minded pols like Sam to fund them.

Sub 5 on this kind of debt is still pretty cheap.

Compared to what? Regular Joes can get 20-year money in the low 4's for a mortgage these days -- and that's taxable interest to the lender. With the tax exemption, decent credit should get you into the 3's.

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