Sarasota County Debt Management Policy

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1 Sarasota County Debt Management Policy The objective of the County s Debt Management Policy is to provide guidance to Sarasota County Administration and the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller, Finance Department, of Sarasota County (collectively, the County ) with respect to the desires of the Sarasota County Commission (the Commission ) in managing the County s debt. Upon adoption, this revised Debt Management Policy will determine in most cases the action required by staff for the day-to-day administration of debt, and define limits upon other actions that require specific approval of the Commission. The County may issue debt using different types of pledges or security. For example, General Obligation debt is secured by the County s ability to levy ad valorem taxes on real and personal property within the County. Assessment debt is secured by special assessments upon the property owners benefiting from specific improvements to their community. Revenue debt is secured by dedicated revenue from sales taxes, special taxes and charges for services, such as water, sewer and solid waste collection and disposal. Additionally, the County utilizes a covenant to budget and appropriate legally available non-ad valorem revenues ( CB&A pledge ) for its short-term borrowings under the Florida Local Government Commercial Paper Loan Program. This program provides valuable cash flow and cash management capabilities in managing the County s ongoing capital improvements programs ( CIP ) by providing interim or temporary up-front financing for the County s pay-as-you-go capital improvement projects. For the financing of improvements for Municipal Services Benefits Units ( MSBU s ) the County may also utilize bank loans that can provide financing for longer periods of time, usually for up to fifteen (15) years, to coincide with a longer assessment period for repayment of the debt. In addition, bank loans may also be used by the County as an alternative to issuing municipal bonds, depending upon general market conditions and the prevailing interest rate environment. Other types of debt subject to this Debt Management Policy include State Revolving Fund Loans ( SRF Loans ), anticipation notes, and other promissory notes that may be issued for the repayment of short or long-term debt. Several guiding principles have been identified which provide the framework for the issuance and management of all debt obligations issued by Sarasota County. These principles are incorporated into this policy as follows: 1

2 PURPOSES AND USES OF DEBT Asset Life: The County will consider long-term financing for the acquisition, replacement, or expansion of physical assets (including land) only if they have a useful life of at least five years. Debt will be used only to finance capital projects and equipment, except in case of emergency as determined by the Commission. County debt will generally not be issued for periods exceeding the useful life or average useful lives of the project or projects to be financed. Capital Financing: The County normally will rely on specifically generated funds and/or grants and contributions from other governments to finance its capital needs on a pay as you go basis. To achieve this it may become necessary to secure short term financing (not to exceed 5 years). Such financing is considered interim or temporary in nature, and allows maximum flexibility in CIP implementation. Debt of longer repayment periods ( long-term debt ) will be issued for capital projects when it is an appropriate means to achieve a fair allocation of costs between current and future beneficiaries. Debt shall not, in general, be used for projects solely because insufficient funds are budgeted at the time of acquisition or construction of the project. Debt Guarantees: The Commission may consider, on a case-by-case basis, the use of the County s debt capacity for legally allowable capital projects by public development authorities or other special purpose units of government. CREDITWORTHINESS Credit Ratings: Sarasota County seeks to maintain the highest possible credit ratings for all categories of short and long-term debt that can be achieved without compromising delivery of basic County services and achievement of adopted County policy objectives. Financial Disclosure: The County is committed to full and complete financial disclosure, and to cooperating fully with rating agencies, institutional and individual investors, agencies, other levels of government, and the general public to share clear, comprehensible, and accurate financial and other relevant debt information. The County is also committed to meeting secondary disclosure requirements on a timely and comprehensive basis. The Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller, Finance Department is responsible for ongoing disclosure to established national information repositories and for maintaining compliance with disclosure standards promulgated by state and national regulatory bodies, and may carry out such responsibility through the engagement of an outside dissemination agent and by using the Clerk s and/or County s internet website. Capital Planning: To enhance creditworthiness and prudent financial management, Sarasota County is committed to systematic capital planning, intergovernmental cooperation and coordination, and long-term financial planning. Evidence of this commitment to systematic capital planning is demonstrated through adoption and periodic adjustment of a Comprehensive Plan pursuant to Chapter 163, Florida Statutes, and the annual adoption of a five-year Capital Improvement Program. 2

3 Debt Limits: The County will keep outstanding debt within the limits prescribed by State statute and County Charter and at levels consistent with its creditworthiness, best practices, needs and affordability objectives. DEBT STRUCTURE Debt Structure: Debt will be structured to achieve the lowest possible net cost to the County given prevailing market conditions, the urgency of capital funding needs, and the nature and type of security to be provided. Moreover, to the extent possible, the County will design the repayment of its overall debt so as to recapture rapidly its credit capacity for future use. The County shall strive to repay at least 20 percent of the principal amount of its general obligation debt within five years and at least 40 percent within ten years. Length of Debt: Debt will be structured for the shortest amortization period consistent with a fair allocation of costs to current and future beneficiaries or users. Backloading: The County will normally seek to structure debt with level principal and interest costs over the life of the debt. "Backloading" of costs will be considered when natural disasters or extraordinary or unanticipated external factors make the short-term cost of the debt prohibitive, when the benefits derived from the debt issuance can clearly be demonstrated to be greater in the future than in the present, when such structuring is beneficial to the County's overall amortization schedule, or when such structuring will allow debt service to more closely match project revenues during the early years of the project's operation. Refundings: The County s staff and advisors will undertake periodic reviews of all outstanding debt to determine if refunding opportunities exist for current debt obligations. Refunding will be considered (within federal tax law constraints) if and when there is a net economic benefit to the refunding, or if the refunding is essential in order to modernize covenants essential to operations and management. In general, current, advance, or forward refundings will be considered if the economic benefit to the County provides a net present value savings of at least 5% of the debt being refunded; however, potential refundings that offer less than a 5% net present value savings may also be considered on a case-by-case basis. Refundings with negative savings will not be considered unless there is a compelling public policy or legal objective to do so. Credit Enhancements: Credit enhancement, such as letters of credit and bond insurance, may be used, but only when net debt service on the bonds is reduced by more than the costs of the credit enhancement. Variable Rate Debt: The County may choose to issue securities that pay a rate of interest that varies according to a pre-determined formula or results from a periodic remarketing of the securities, consistent with state law and prevailing covenants of existing debt, and depending on market conditions. The County will limit its outstanding debt in variable rate form to reasonable levels in relation to total outstanding debt. Subordinate Debt: The County may issue subordinate debt only if it is financially beneficial to the County or consistent with creditworthiness objectives. 3

4 Short Term Notes: Use of short-term borrowings, such as bond anticipation notes and tax-exempt commercial paper, will be undertaken only if the transaction costs plus interest on the debt are less than the cost of internal financing, or if the available cash for internal financing is insufficient to meet funding requirements. If internal financing is utilized, it will be evidenced by an Interfund Loan Note, and if such financing is provided by the General Fund, said note will be approved by the Commission. State Revolving Fund Loan Program: This program provides funds for projects involving water supply and distribution facilities, stormwater control and treatment projects, air and water pollution control, and solid waste disposal facilities. In this program, local governments benefit from the strength of the state s credit, and costs are traditionally low. Whenever possible, this program should be considered if the costs are below prevailing open market conditions. Bank Loans: Bank loans provide an alternative to the funding of projects with municipal bonds. Over the initial construction period, a project may be financed with other shortterm notes, such as tax-exempt commercial paper, and such short-term financing may be taken out with a bank loan once costs for the project are finalized. Certificates of Official Intent To Reimburse: In developing the funding plan for a project, an operating department may decide to advance cash towards the initial funding of the project, with the expectation that such cash outlay will be recaptured from a subsequent issuance of tax-exempt debt. Before any such cash outlays are made, the operating department needs to file a Certificate of Official Intent To Reimburse with the Office of Financial Planning in accordance with Treasury Regulation Section The County Administrator or designee will approve such Certificates, and place them on file with Board Records. When the subsequent tax-exempt debt is issued, Bond Counsel will be provided with a copy of the Certificate so that the reimbursement from tax-exempt proceeds can be processed. DEBT ADMINISTRATION Annual Debt Report: The Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller, Finance Department, will be responsible for preparing and delivering an Annual Debt Report to the Board as part of its annual review of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report ( CAFR ). Such report shall pertain to the prior Fiscal Year, and may include the following elements: (1) a history and brief description of all outstanding bonds; (2) a review of the County s bonded debt over the last ten years and a comparison of Sarasota County s debt to that of other similarly populated counties in Florida; (3) information on the Commercial Paper Loan Program, Bank Loans, the State Revolving Fund Loan Program, and debt issued through the conduit financing program; and, (4) information on arbitrage with accompanying schedules to provide a brief history of debt affected by arbitrage, the financial impact and the current status. Report to Bondholders: The County, through the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller, Finance Department, shall prepare and release to all interested parties the 4

5 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) which will act as the ongoing disclosure document required under the Continuing Disclosure Rules promulgated by the Securities Exchange Commission [SEC Rule 15c2-12(b)(5)]. This report shall contain general and demographic information on Sarasota County, and a discussion of General Government, the Solid Waste System, the Water and Wastewater Utility System, the Stormwater Utility System, and any additional systems that may subsequently be established by the County. The information presented on General Government and on each Enterprise System shall comply with the disclosure obligations set forth in the Continuing Disclosure Certificates issued in connection with its debt obligations, and may include information on the following: service areas, rates and charges, financial statement excerpts, outstanding and proposed debt, a summary of certain bond resolution provisions, a management discussion of operations, and such other information as the County shall deem to be important. The report shall also include Notes to the Financial Statements and, to the extent available, information on Conduit debt obligations issued by the County on behalf of another entity. Arbitrage Compliance: The Department of Finance maintains a system of record keeping and reporting to meet the arbitrage rebate compliance requirements of the federal tax code. All arbitrage rebate calculations are completed by an outside arbitrage consultant selected through the Request For Quote ( RFQ ) process. Arbitrage rebate liabilities will be calculated annually and the liability will be reported in the County s annual financial statements. Tax-Exempt Debt Post Issuance Compliance Policy and Procedures: As required by the Internal Revenue Service Sections 103 and 141 through 150 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller has adopted policies and procedures with respect to Form 8038 compliance. A full copy of such policies and procedures is appended to this Debt Management Policy as Exhibit A. Financing Proposals: Any capital financing proposal to a County operating department, Agency, or Utility involving pledge or other extension of the County's credit through sale of securities, execution of loans or leases, marketing guarantees, or otherwise involving directly or indirectly the lending or pledging of the County's credit, will be referred to and reviewed by the Chief Financial Planning Officer and Director of Finance, or their respective designees. Any decision to act on such proposal will require final approval by the Commission. Conduit Bond Financing: Periodically the County is approached with a request to provide conduit financing for qualified projects using Sarasota County Health Facilities Authority bonds, or Sarasota County Industrial Development Revenue bonds. Applications for such issues are processed pursuant to guidelines approved by the Commission. The Financial Advisor, Bond Counsel, Office of Financial Planning and County Attorney staff will assist the Health Facilities Authority and Industrial Development Revenue Bond Citizens Advisory Committee conduct the required public hearing and provide a final funding recommendation to the Commission. 5

6 FINANCING TEAM SELECTION Financing Team Selection Process: Staff will provide recommendations to the Commission, as requested, on the selection of underwriters, bond counsel, disclosure counsel and financial advisors following an independent review of responses to requests for proposals ( RFPs ) or requests for qualifications ( RFQs ). The Commission makes all final determinations and may do so with or without recommendations from County staff. Underwriters: For all competitive sales, underwriters are selected by their competitive bids on bonds. For negotiated sales, underwriters are first selected through an RFP process to appoint a pool of underwriters for a term of up to five years. From that pool, senior managing underwriters for individual financings are then selected through a mini- RFP process, based on their qualifications to manage the particular transaction under consideration. The Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller or designee, the County Administrator or designee, and the Financial Advisor conduct the evaluation of responses to RFPs and mini-rfps. Bond Counsel: The County retains external bond counsel for all debt issues. All debt issued by the County includes a written opinion by bond counsel affirming that the County is authorized to issue the debt and determining the debt's federal income tax status. Bond counsel is engaged through a competitive process approved by the Commission and administered by the County Attorney. The selection criteria include a requirement for comprehensive municipal debt experience. Disclosure Counsel: The County retains external Disclosure Counsel for all public offerings. Disclosure Counsel renders an opinion to the County (and a reliance letter to the underwriters if requested) in connection with each such offering to the effect that, with certain conditions, nothing came to their attention to indicate the offering document contains any untrue statement or omits any material fact required to be included. Disclosure Counsel shall provide legal advice to the County to assist it in meeting its secondary market disclosure obligations. Disclosure Counsel is engaged in the same manner as Bond Counsel. Underwriter's Counsel: On negotiated public offerings, the senior managing underwriter may select counsel, subject to approval by the County, to be compensated as an expense item to be negotiated as part of the gross underwriting spread. Financial Advisor: The County retains a Financial Advisor, selected for a term of up to five years, through an RFP process administered by the County's Office of Financial Planning. Financial Advisors are required to have comprehensive municipal debt experience, including diverse financial structuring and pricing of municipal securities. For each County bond sale the Financial Advisor will assist the County in determining the optimum structure of the debt, negotiating favorable pricing terms, and managing the debt issuance process. In addition to transactional tasks, the Financial Advisor will advise the County on strategic financial planning matters and assist in management and operational evaluations and improvements where appropriate and as directed by the County. 6

7 Paying Agent: The County may utilize a Paying Agent on all County indebtedness. The fees and expenses for servicing outstanding debt are paid from the appropriate debt service fund, unless specified otherwise by the County. Other Service Providers: The County may periodically select other service providers (e.g., escrow agents, verification agents, trustees, arbitrage consultants, etc.) as necessary to meet legal requirements and minimize net County debt costs. These services can include debt restructuring services and security or escrow purchases. The County may select firm(s) to provide such financial services related to debt without a RFP or RFQ, consistent with County and State legal requirements. DEBT ISSUANCE PROCESS Bond and Note Sales: All proposed borrowings require the Commission s final approval, which includes the adoption of the appropriate Resolutions either drafted or reviewed by Bond Counsel. Before the sale of bonds or notes, the requesting operating department assists in the development of a "Sources, Uses, and Payment" memo to the Director of Finance identifying source and use of bond proceeds, Funds, Org Codes and/or Account Codes for deposit of all bond proceeds, and Funds and Org Codes for payment of debt service. In addition, the preparation of an appropriate Budget Amendment may also be required. No bonds, notes or other forms of indebtedness are incurred by the County without submission of a "Sources, Uses, and Payments" memo. Investment of Bond and Note Proceeds: All proceeds of debt incurred by the County, other than conduit debt obligations, are invested as part of the County's consolidated cash pool unless otherwise specified by the bond covenants or by the lead operating department or project manager and approved by the Finance Director. Investments are consistent with those authorized by existing County and State law and by the County's Commission-approved Investment Policy. Costs and Fees: All costs and fees related to issuance of bonds, other than conduit bonds, are paid out of bond proceeds or by the project lead operating department. Competitive Sale: Under normal market conditions, County debt is issued through a competitive bidding process. Bids are awarded on a True Interest Cost basis ( TIC ), provided other bidding requirements are satisfied. The County s Financial Advisor shall review all bids and provide its evaluation to the County. If the County determines that the bids are unsatisfactory, it may enter into a negotiated transaction for sale of the securities with approval from the Commission. Negotiated Sale: Negotiated sale of debt is considered when the complexity of the issue requires specialized expertise, when the negotiated sale would result in substantial savings in time or money, when market conditions are unusually volatile and/or liquidity conditions are unfavorable, if the County s credit is problematic or when a negotiated sale is otherwise in the best interest of the County and is authorized by a resolution to that effect by the Commission. 7

8 EXHIBIT A 10.8 Tax-Exempt Debt Post-Issuance Compliance 9/30/12 Part I. Purpose. It is the policy of Sarasota County, Florida (the County ) to comply with all applicable federal tax rules related to its tax-exempt debt and Build America Bond 1 ( debt 2 ) issuances. Given the increasing complexity of the federal tax law applicable to the County s debt issuances, the County hereby adopts the following policies and procedures (the Policies and Procedures ), which Policies and Procedures supersede any existing policies or procedures that the County may have in place. These Policies and Procedures are intended to serve as a guide for the County to facilitate compliance with the federal tax law applicable to the County s outstanding debt issuances. In the event these Policies and Procedures conflict, in whole or in part, with the Certificate Relating to Tax, Arbitrage, and Other Matters (or other similar certificate) (the Tax Certificate ) prepared on behalf of the County in connection with a debt issuance, the terms of the Tax Certificate shall control. In addition, the County may deviated from these Policies and Procedures on the basis of advice of bond counsel. These Policies and Procedures do not apply to conduit issuances of debt by the County. Part II. Responsibility of County Officials. Except as otherwise described herein, the Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller s Finance Department (the Finance Department ) and the County s Office of Financial Planning (the OFP ) share primary responsibility for ensuring that the County s outstanding tax-exempt debt issuances are, and will remain, in compliance with federal tax law. Within these Departments, the County officials with primary responsibility are the Director of Finance and the Chief Financial Planning Officer. The Finance Department and OFP will consult with other departments within the County, as well as third-party professionals (e.g., the County s bond counsel, County s disclosure counsel, Digital Assurance Certification, L.L.C. ( DAC ), and arbitrage rebate provider), as needed, to ensure compliance with such rules, including these Policies and Procedures. The Finance Department and OFP will ensure that these Policies and Procedures are reviewed annually. 1 Unless otherwise indicated herein, all references to Build America Bonds or BABs shall include Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds. 2 Unless otherwise indicated herein, all references to Debt shall include any tax-exempt debt, tax credit bond debt, and Build America Bond debt. 8

9 Part III. Closing of Debt Issuances. A. Tax Certificates. The County s bond counsel, with assistance from the County and other professionals associated with the financing, shall prepare a Tax Certificate in connection with each debt issuance issued by the County, to be executed by the Chair of the County Commission at closing. The Tax Certificate shall serve as the operative document for purposes of establishing the County s reasonable expectations as of the date of issue of a debt issuance, as well as provide a summary of the federal tax rules applicable to such issuance. The Finance Department, OFP, and the County Attorney, in consultation with the County s bond counsel, will review the Tax Certificate prepared for each of the County s debt issues prior to the closing of the issue. B. Internal Revenue Service Form 8038-G Tax-Exempt Bonds. The County s bond counsel, with assistance from the County and other professionals associated with the financing, shall prepare an Internal Revenue Service ( IRS ) Form 8038-G, Information Return for Tax-Exempt Governmental Obligations, in connection with each tax-exempt debt issuance issued by the County, which the Finance Department, OFP, and the County Attorney will review prior to closing. Each IRS Form 8038-G prepared for a tax-exempt debt issuance will be filed with the IRS no later than the 15 th day of the 2 nd calendar month after the close of the calendar quarter in which the tax-exempt obligation to which such Form 8038-G relates is issued. All Form 8038-Gs shall be filed by the County s bond counsel with the IRS. C. Internal Revenue Service Form 8038-B Build America Bonds. The County s bond counsel, with assistance from the County and other professionals associated with the financing, shall prepare an IRS Form 8038-B, Information Return for Build America Bonds and Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds, in connection with each Build America Bond ( BAB ) issuance issued by the County, which the Finance Department, OFP, and the County Attorney will review prior to closing. Each IRS Form 8038-B prepared for a BAB issuance will be filed with the IRS no later than the 15 th day of the 2 nd calendar month after the close of the calendar quarter in which the obligation to which such Form 8038-B relates is issued; provided, however, that Form 8038-B must be filed at least 30 days prior to the submission of the first IRS Form 8038-CP, Return for Credit Payments to Issuers of Qualified Bonds, that is filed to request payment with respect to an interest payment date for that issue. All Form 8038-Bs shall be filed by the County s bond counsel with the IRS. Part IV. Use of Debt Proceeds. A. Private Use Generally. The County will not knowingly take or permit to be taken any action which would cause any of its outstanding debt issuances to become private activity bonds, as described below. Generally, an issue of debt will be considered private activity bonds if more than 10% of the proceeds of the debt are used directly or indirectly in any trade or business carried on by a private business user and more than 10% of the debt service on the debt is directly or indirectly (1) secured by any interest in property used or to be used in any trade or business carried on by a private business user or payments in respect of property used or to be used in any trade or business carried on by a private business user, or (2) derived from payments made in respect of property used or to be used in any trade or business carried on by a private business user. 9

10 B. Overview. The County routinely reviews, and will continue to review, third-party uses of its debt-financed facilities for potential private business use. The Finance Department and OFP shall be responsible for such routine reviews of third-party use. In addition, the County may continue to consult regularly with its bond counsel regarding the applicable federal tax limitations imposed on the County s outstanding debt issuances and whether arrangements with third parties give rise to private business use of the financed projects. In the event the County enters into any arrangement which gives rise to private business use, the County may consult its bond counsel regarding the arrangement and whether such arrangement impacts the tax-exempt status of the County s outstanding debt or the qualification of such debt as BABs, as applicable. The private business use arrangements to be monitored by the County include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. Management or Other Service Contracts. In the event the County enters into a management contract, service agreement, operating agreement or license (a Service Contract ) with a third-party the County will evaluate whether such arrangement results in private business use. After initial review by the County Attorney, the Finance Department and OFP shall monitor all service contracts that involve the use of debt-financed property for compliance. It is the County s intent to structure all Service Contracts impacting debt-financed property so as to satisfy one of the private business use safeharbors set forth in Revenue Procedure If the County enters into a Service Contract that does not satisfy the safeharbors set forth in Revenue Procedure 97-13, the County may consult with its bond counsel to assess the impact, if any, that the noncompliant Service Contract has on the tax status of the County s outstanding debt. 2. Leases and Subleases. After initial review by the County Attorney, the Finance Department and OFP shall monitor all leases and subleases that involve the use of debt-financed property, including the name of the lessee (or sublessee), the term of the lease (or sublease), the amount of the rent paid by the lessee (or sublessee) and the square footage of space used by the lessee (or sublessee) relative to the square footage of the debt-financed property. 3. Naming Rights Agreements. After initial review by the County Attorney, the Finance Department and OFP shall monitor all naming rights agreements that involve debt-financed property, including the term of the arrangement and the amount paid by the naming party. 4. Joint Ventures and Partnership Arrangements. After initial review by the County Attorney, the Finance Department and OFP shall monitor all joint ventures, partnerships, or other cooperative agreements that involve the use of debt-financed property. The County Attorney shall upon request made by the Finance Department or OFP review Service Contracts, leases and subleases, naming rights agreements, and joint venture and partnership agreements with respect to potential private business use. C. Sales of Debt-Financed Property. It is the County s policy to use debt proceeds to finance property that the County intends to own for the entire term of the debt issue financing the projects. Prior to selling or otherwise disposing of any debt-financed project for which debt remains outstanding, the County shall consult with its bond counsel to determine the impact, if any, such sale or disposition would have on the tax status of the County s outstanding debt. 10

11 D. Remedial Actions. The County is aware of the remedial action rules contained in Treasury Regulations Section , providing the County with the ability, in certain circumstances, to voluntarily remediate violations of the private business tests or private loan financing test. Although the County intends that none of its debt issuances will require the application of the remedial action rules, prior to taking any action that would cause one or more of its outstanding debt issuances to, absent a remedial action, violate the private business tests or private loan financing test, the County shall consult with its bond counsel regarding the applicability of the remedial action rules to such action and the ability to remediate the impacted debt issuance. E. Private Loans. The County will not take or permit to be taken any action which would cause any of its debt issuances to be considered private loan bonds. The County debt will be considered private loan bonds if more than 5% of the proceeds of the issue are used directly or indirectly to make or finance loans to private persons. The County will not loan the proceeds of any County debt issuance to a third party. Part V. Special Provisions Applicable to Build America Bonds. A. Sale of Build America Bonds. No BAB issued by or on behalf of the County shall be sold with more than a de minimis amount of original issue premium. Original issue premium shall be considered de minimis if it does not exceed 0.25% of the stated redemption price at maturity for the bond, multiplied by the number of complete years to the earlier of the maturity date for the bond or the first optional redemption date for the bond, if applicable. B. Review of Pricing Information. To the extent such information is available, the County will review the pricing history of each of its BAB issuances through the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board s Electronic Municipal Market Access website located at A copy of the pricing records may be retained through the DAC system, and in all events, the County will retain a copy of such pricing records in accordance with the provisions of Part IX, Recordkeeping, of these Policies and Procedures. C. Use of Available Project Proceeds. One hundred percent (100%) of the available project proceeds of each of the County s BAB debt issuances shall be used to finance capital expenditures. For these purposes, available project proceeds means the sale proceeds of a BAB debt issue less costs of issuance of the issue financed with such sale proceeds (the amount of sale proceeds of the issue to be used to finance costs of issuance not to exceed two percent (2%) of the sale proceeds), plus the investment earnings thereon, including investment earnings on a reserve fund for the issue. D. Calculation of Refundable Credits Payable to the County. In connection with an issuance of fixed rate BABs, the County shall require a financial professional associated with the financing to prepare a schedule setting forth the interest scheduled to be paid to the bond holders, the dates on which such amounts are expected to be paid and the amount of refundable credits expected to be claimed by the County from the IRS. This schedule will be attached to the IRS Form 8038-B filed in connection with the issuance of the BABs and will serve as the basis for the IRS Form 8038-CPs (see Section E, below) to be filed with the IRS on behalf of the County. In the event the County should issue variable rate BABs, the County shall require a financial professional associated with the financing to prepare a schedule setting forth each interest payment date, the amount of debt of the issuance expected to be outstanding as of each such interest payment date and a general description as to how the amount of interest payable on each date is calculated. In addition, should the County 11

12 borrow through the issuance of variable rate BABs, the County will maintain records of interest paid to the holders of such bonds, which records will serve as the basis for the County s claim for refundable credits. E. Preparation and Filing of IRS Form 8038-CP. The Finance Department will prepare, or cause to be prepared, a separate IRS Form 8038-CP, Return for Credit Payments to Issuers of Qualified Bonds, for each claimed BAB refundable credit payment. In the case of fixed rate BABs, the County will complete an IRS Form 8038-CP for each interest payment date, such IRS Form 8038-CP to be filed no later than 45 days prior to the interest payment date for which such refundable credit is claimed and no earlier than 90 days prior to the applicable interest payment date for which such refundable credit is claimed. In the case of variable rate BABs, the County will complete an IRS Form 8038-CP for each calendar quarter in arrears, each such IRS Form 8038-CP to be submitted to the IRS no later than 45 days after the last interest payment date within the calendar quarter for which a refundable credit is claimed. Part VI. Arbitrage Limitations Imposed on Debt Issuances. A. Arbitrage Rebate Monitor. The County will continue to retain an arbitrage rebate monitor to review its outstanding debt issuances, unless, in the judgment of the Finance Department and in compliance with these Policies and Procedures and the Tax Certificate or other related documents entered into in connection with a debt issuance, there is no reasonable prospect of an arbitrage rebate or yield reduction payment liability. If an arbitrage rebate monitor is retained, the arbitrage rebate monitor will perform calculations to ascertain whether the County owes an arbitrage rebate payment or yield reduction payment to the IRS, including whether the debt issuance in question qualifies for an exception to the arbitrage rebate rules. B. Yield Restriction Limitations. Each Tax Certificate or other related documents prepared for the County s debt issuances shall contain the applicable yield restriction investment limitations, including the applicable investment limitations imposed on proceeds of the debt issuance and any temporary periods during which the County may invest proceeds of the debt issuance at an unrestricted yield. C. Monitoring Yield Restriction Limitations. The Finance Department will ensure that the County complies with the yield restriction limitations outlined in the Tax Certificate or other related documents entered into by the County in connection with a debt issuance, including any exceptions to yield restriction described therein. D. Payment of Arbitrage Rebate and Yield Reduction Liability. In the event the County owes arbitrage rebate or has accrued a yield reduction payment liability to the IRS, the County will timely 3 submit IRS Form 8038-T, Arbitrage Rebate Yield Reduction and Penalty in Lieu of Arbitrage Rebate, to be prepared by the arbitrage rebate monitor, together with payment in the amount equal to the 3 For these purposes, timely shall mean within 60 days after each installment computation date, the County will cause to be paid to the Internal Revenue Service at least 90% of the amount of arbitrage rebate and yield reduction payment liability owed and within 60 days after the final installment computation date, the County will cause to be paid to the Internal Revenue Service 100% of the amount of arbitrage rebate and yield reduction payment liability owed. 12

13 arbitrage rebate or yield reduction payment liability calculated by the arbitrage rebate monitor in accordance with the Tax Certificate or other related documents related to such debt issue. E. Expenditure of Tax-Exempt Debt Proceeds. It is the policy of the County to expend debt proceeds as promptly and diligently as possible within the confines of these Policies and Procedures and the Tax Certificate or other related documents entered into by the County in connection with a particular debt issuance. For these purposes, it is the County s policy generally not to finance projects using the proceeds of debt for which the County expects that the debt proceeds will not be fully spent within 3 years of the date of issue of the debt. F. Arbitrage Rebate Exceptions. Each Tax Certificate or other related documents prepared for the County s debt issuances shall contain the arbitrage rebate exception(s) applicable to the debt issuance, which arbitrage rebate exceptions will be applied by the rebate monitor in assessing whether the County owes arbitrage rebate. G. Verification Agent. The County will continue to retain a third-party verification agent for each of its advance refunding bond issues. The verification agent will verify the arbitrage yield on the tax-exempt debt issuance, the arbitrage yield on the investments acquired as part of the refunding escrow established using gross proceeds of the tax-exempt debt issuance, and the sufficiency of the refunding escrow. H. Establishment of Advance Refunding Escrows and Trustee Responsibilities. The County will deposit tax-exempt debt proceeds (and any other amounts) to be used to advance refund prior County debt into one or more separate escrow trust accounts established with the trustee or escrow agent selected for the transaction. Working with the County s bond counsel, and in accordance with the documentation prepared for the refunding transaction, the County will impose primary responsibility for initiating actions required to be taken with respect to the refunding escrow (including the reinvestment of amounts within the escrow and disbursing funds from the escrow) on the trustee or escrow agent. In the event of an omission on the part of the trustee or escrow agent, an error in the documentation or procedures establishing the escrow, or an investment to be acquired as part of the refunding escrow is not available for purchase, the County will timely consult with the County s bond counsel, as applicable, to determine the impact, if any, on the tax-exempt status of the bond issue and actions to be undertaken by the County to ensure the continuing tax-exempt status of the obligations. I. Acquiring Investments for Advance Refunding Escrows. It is the policy of the County to maximize the investment return on all investments acquired with tax-exempt bond proceeds and to acquire such investments at fair market value. When funding deposits to advance refunding escrows using tax-exempt debt proceeds, it is the County s policy to acquire United States Treasury Securities State and Local Government Series (SLGS) or securities purchased on the open market in accordance with the terms of the County s bond documents. In the event the County chooses to fund an advance refunding escrow using securities purchased on the open market, the County will, if possible, solicit bids from providers of qualifying securities in accordance with the limitations described in the 3-bid safeharbors set forth in Treasury Regulations Section (d)(6). 13

14 J. Interest Rate Hedges. The County will engage a third party financial advisor for all interest rate hedges entered into by the County, irrespective of whether any such hedge is acquired through a direct negotiation with the provider or procured through a bidding process. In all cases, the County will obtain appropriate certifications from its financial advisor and/or the provider to establish the fair market value of the product. The County will consult with its bond counsel with respect to all interest rate hedging transactions related to an outstanding or prospective debt issuance prior to the date on which the interest rate hedging transaction is entered into. Part VII. Accounting for Debt Proceeds. A. General. Except as otherwise described below and in the Tax Certificate entered into by the County in connection with a debt issuance, it is the policy of the County to consistently apply a generally accepted method of accounting for and allocating its debt proceeds. B. Investment of Proceeds. Proceeds of the County s capital borrowings shall be accounted for in a separate fund or account. All proceeds shall be invested at the direction of the Finance Department in accordance with the County s investment policy adopted by the Board of County Commissioners. C. Expenditure of Debt Proceeds on Capital Projects. The respective responsible Business Unit will initially review and approve invoices related to the tax-exempt debt financed expenditures and forward to OFP and the Finance Department for subsequent review and approval of invoices and cause payments to be made. All invoices and records of payment (either in the form of paper checks or electronic funds transfer confirmations) shall be retained by the County in accordance with Part VIII, Recordkeeping, below. The County shall maintain an active ledger, updated with each payment of an expenditure from debt proceeds that for each outstanding debt issuance shows: (1) The name and date of the debt issue to which the proceeds relate; (2) The projects financed with the proceeds of the issue; (3) The authorized amount of proceeds to be used to finance each project; (4) The amount of proceeds of the debt issuance used to date to finance each project; (5) The amount of unspent proceeds of the debt issuance to be used to finance each project; and (6) The date on which the debt proceeds related to each project were fully expended. Part VIII. Recordkeeping. A. General. The County is aware of its ongoing recordkeeping responsibilities associated with its debt issuances. The County s relationship with DAC is intended to assist the County in maintaining compliance with its recordkeeping responsibilities. Each Tax Certificate prepared on behalf of the County for a debt issuance shall provide for a description of the records to be maintained by or on behalf of the County and period of time such records must be maintained. In addition, the County is familiar with the IRS s Frequently Asked Questions related to the recordkeeping requirements for tax-exempt debt. 14

15 B. Means of Maintaining Records. The County may maintain all records required to be held as described in this Part VIII in paper and/or electronic (e.g., CD, disks, tapes) form either internally or through the DAC system. It is the policy of the County to maintain as much of its records electronically as feasible. C. Transcript and Use of Debt Proceeds. The County shall maintain, or cause to be maintained, all records relating to the tax-exempt status of its tax-exempt debt issuances and the qualification of County debt as BABs and the representations, certifications and covenants set forth in its respective Tax Certificates until the date 3 years after the last outstanding obligation of the issue to which such records and Tax Certificate relate has been retired. These records include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) basic records and documents relating to the obligations (including the transcript, which shall include, among other records, the Tax Certificate, IRS Form 8038-G or 8038-B, verification report, authorizing resolution(s), trust indenture, loan agreement, record of public approval, and the opinion of bond counsel), (2) documentation evidencing the expenditure of debt proceeds, (3) documentation evidencing interest paid by the County for which refundable credits are claimed and all IRS Form 8038-CPs submitted on behalf of the County, (4) documentation evidencing the use of debt financed projects by public and private sources, including copies of all arrangements described in Part IV of these Policies and Procedures, (5) documentation evidencing all sources of payment or security for the debt issuance; and (6) documentation pertaining to any investment of debt proceeds (including the purchase and sale of securities, SLGS subscriptions, yield calculations for each class of investments, actual investment income received from the investment of proceeds, guaranteed investment contracts, and rebate calculations). D. Investment Records. The County shall maintain detailed records with respect to every investment acquired with proceeds of its debt issuances until the date three years after the last outstanding obligation of the issue to which such records and nonpurpose investments relate has been retired. These records may reflect, but are not limited to, the following: (1) purchase date, (2) purchase price, (3) information establishing fair market value on the date such investment became allocated to gross proceeds of the debt, (4) any accrued interest paid, (5) face amount, (6) coupon rate, (7) periodicity of interest payments, (8) disposition price, (9) any accrued interest received, (10) disposition date, and (11) broker s fees paid (if at all) or other administrative costs with respect to each such nonpurpose investment. E. Arbitrage Rebate and Yield Reduction Payment Records. The County shall maintain all records of arbitrage rebate payment and yield reduction payment calculations performed by the arbitrage rebate monitor (irrespective of whether the County owed any amount to the IRS), and records related to any arbitrage rebate payments or yield reduction payments made to the IRS, including the calculations performed by the arbitrage rebate monitor substantiating such payments, together with the IRS Form 8038-T, Arbitrage Rebate, Yield Reduction and Penalty in Lieu of Arbitrage Rebate, that accompanied all such payments, until the date 3 years after the last outstanding obligation of the issue to which such records and rebate payments relate has been retired. 15

16 F. Overpayment of Arbitrage Rebate Records. In the event the County has overpaid to the United States an arbitrage rebate or yield reduction payment liability, the County shall maintain all records of such arbitrage rebate payments or yield reduction payments, including calculations performed by the arbitrage rebate monitor, together with the IRS Form 8038-R, Request for Recovery of Overpayments Under Arbitrage Rebate Provisions, that accompanied the request for a recovery of such overpayment until the date 3 years after the last outstanding obligation of the issue to which such records and rebate overpayments relate has been retired. G. Other Records. In addition to the records described above, the County will maintain the following records, to the extent applicable to a particular tax-exempt debt offering, until the date 3 years after the last outstanding obligation of the issue to which such relate has been retired: (1) minutes and resolutions authorizing the issuance of, or the reimbursement of expenditures using proceeds of, the financing, (2) appraisals, demand surveys and feasibility studies related to debt financed or refinanced property, (3) documentation relating to any third-party funding for a project to which debt proceeds will be applied (including government grants), (4) records of any Internal Revenue Service audit(s) or compliance check(s), or any other Internal Revenue Service inquiry related to the debt. H. Applicability of Recordkeeping Requirement in the Event of a Refunding. In the event the County issues debt to retire prior County debt, the County shall maintain all of the records described in this Part VIII with respect to the refunded debt until the date that is three years after the last outstanding tax-exempt obligation or BAB of the issue the proceeds of which were used to retire the refunded debt has been retired. Part IX. Continuing Disclosure Obligations. The County will provide continuing disclosure, such as annual financial information and material event notices, pursuant to a continuing disclosure certificate or similar document (the Continuing Disclosure Document ) prepared by Bond Counsel or Disclosure Counsel and made a part of the transcript with respect to each issue of bonds of the County that is subject to such continuing disclosure requirements. The continuing disclosure obligations of the County are governed by the Continuing Disclosure Documents. The Finance Department is primarily responsible for undertaking such continuing disclosure obligations and to monitor compliance with such obligations. All continuing disclosure obligations are filed by the Finance Department through DAC. Part X. Voluntary Closing Agreement Program. The County is aware of its ability, pursuant to IRS Notice , to request a voluntary closing agreement with the IRS to correct failures on the part of the County to comply with the federal tax rules related to tax-exempt debt issuances. 16

17 Part XI. Continuing Education. The County will continue to consult regularly with its bond counsel regarding the federal tax rules applicable to its outstanding debt and changes to the federal tax law, and the County will regularly update these Policies and Procedures to reflect any such changes. The County shall ensure that those who are tasked with bond compliance responsibilities shall undertake a reasonable amount of continuing education on an annual basis, including but not limited to, consulting with outside professionals, participation in conferences, reading informational updates from governmental resources and professional organizations, and participation in DAC or other webinars. 17

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