Utah’s ‘AAA’ general obligation bond rating with Standard and Poor’s has remained unchanged since it was initiated in 1965, its ‘Aaa’ rating with Moody’s dates back to 1973, and it has likewise enjoyed a Fitch rating of ‘AAA’ since 1992.
These Investor Information pages on the Utah State Treasurer’s website are intended to provide detailed information regarding the State for purchasers of the State’s bonds in the primary and secondary markets, and to notify the public of any current or upcoming bond issuances by the State of Utah.
The information contained herein includes economic, budget and disclosure data, as well as periodic revenue updates, the State’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), Continuing Disclosure Memoranda, and bond issue offering documents.
The Utah State Treasurer is responsible for the efficient and effective issuance of debt authorized by the State’s legislature to:
- Market the State’s debt at appropriate times to match the construction cash flow requirements of transportation and building projects;
- Structure the State’s debt to minimize overall borrowing costs while optimizing the investment of cash proceeds of the State’s borrowings;
- Market the State’s debt in such a manner as to maximize investor participation and access to the State’s bonds;
- Periodically and effectively present and disclose the State’s economic and financial condition to investors and rating agencies;
- Ensure the State’s compliance with Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and other applicable rules and regulations concerning the issuance of bonds;
- Prepare, review and disseminate offering documents such as Preliminary Official Statements and Official Statements pursuant to the sale of the State’s bonds;
- Ensure the timely repayment of the principal and interest on the State’s debt obligations; and
- Assure the State’s compliance with the terms and conditions of legal documents which govern the State’s issued debt.
Once the issuance of debt is authorized by the State’s legislature, the State Treasurer, under the auspices of the State Bonding Commission or the State Building Ownership Authority, manages the process of debt issuance.
The State Bonding Commission and Utah’s General Obligation Bonds
Created in 1982, the State Bonding Commission (the “Commission) is composed of the Governor (or Governor’s designee), the State Treasurer and a third at-large member from a political party different from that of the Governor.
The Commission establishes the basic conditions under which G.O. bonds may be issued and provides final approval for their issuance. The State’s G.O. bonds, which are supported by a pledge of the full faith, credit, and resources of the state for repayment, are issued to provide funding for various transportation and building projects within the State. The State’s General Obligation bonds have been assigned the highest credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Aaa), Standard and Poor’s (AAA) and Fitch Ratings, Inc. (AAA).
The Commission can authorize and approve the issuance of general obligation refunding bonds to refinance state debt when appropriate to reduce interest costs associated with outstanding G.O. bonds.
The State Building Ownership Authority and Utah Lease Revenue Bonds
The State issues lease revenue bonds under its Master Lease Program through the State Building Ownership Authority (the Authority). The Authority is composed of the Governor (or Governor’s designee), the State Treasurer and the chair of the State Building Board.
The Authority establishes the conditions under which the State’s lease revenue bonds may be issued and provides final approval for their issuance. The State’s lease revenue bonds are issued to provide funding for various building projects within the State. Unlike G.O. bonds, the State’s revenue bonds are not backed by the general taxing authority of the State, but are payable from annual appropriations by the Legislature. All bonds issued using the Master Lease Program are cross-collateralized. The State’s lease revenue bonds have the following ratings: Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Aa1) and Standard and Poor’s (AA+).
The Authority can also authorize and approve the issuance of lease revenue refunding bonds to refinance lease revenue debt to reduce interest costs associated with outstanding lease revenue bonds.