Revenue bonds reflect Port of Vancouver’s financial health, stability
In June the Port of Vancouver USA issued revenue bonds for $40 million–the first issuance of its kind in port history.
The port has issued general obligation bonds in the past, which are common type of municipal bond secured by the municipality’s pledge to use legally available resources, including taxes collected, to repay bond holders. Revenue bonds are different; the guarantee of repayment for these bonds is solely from operating revenues rather than from taxes.
The port’s revenue bond issuance was unanimously approved by our Board of Commissioners last December. Since then, our Finance and Accounting department has been working hard to prepare for the issuance, posting the bonds in mid-June.
Our strong financial history helped us to secure an “A stable” rating from Standard and Poor’s, which in turn helped us attract three times the amount of investment needed and low interest rates, saving millions of dollars over the 30-year life of the debt.
Funds from the bonds were used to pay off a $14.4 million line-of-credit debt, which was initially used to pay for right of way easements on the port’s Terminal 1 waterfront property and infrastructure components for the West Vancouver Freight Access project (WVFA). The remaining balance will be used to fund budgeted projects for the port’s WVFA capital projects program as well as investments in the Centennial Industrial Building (CIB).
The port plans to issue additional revenue bonds in 2017 to invest in other potential revenue-generating possibilities and bring the decade-long WVFA to completion.
The port has a sound budget focused on strategic initiatives like WVFA and CIB, which result in new infrastructure and facilities we can use to attract employers and create jobs in our community. The investment we receive from taxpayers allows us to continue building projects like these so we can do our part to support economic prosperity in Southwest Washington.