Ridgeline offers comprehensive municipal financing support, from debt needs assessment and capacity calculation to financing process management and post-issuance compliance.
Ridgeline is an independent registered municipal advisor to public agencies in California. A municipal advisor is the only party in the municipal financing process that has a fiduciary duty – codified in the law – to act in the best interest of the public agency that is issuing debt. The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recommends that issuers retain a municipal advisor before taking on debt. We take this responsibility to heart.
Issuing municipal bonds is a complex process. Our services are designed to make municipal financing simpler. We help you quantify financing needs, identify debt refunding opportunities, determine sources and uses of funding, develop and assess financing alternatives, and navigate municipal financing markets. We also take special care to ensure that our clients’ staff and governing bodies receive proper assessment of risks, opportunities, and ongoing compliance obligations.
Our team members have participated in over 150 municipal debt issues that generated approximately $1 billion in funding proceeds, including general obligation bonds, lease revenue bonds, water/wastewater revenue bonds, certificates of participation, tax increment/tax allocation bonds, land-secured bonds, bank loans, lines of credit, and equipment financing.
We are intimately familiar with the municipal credit rating criteria and methodologies utilized by market participants. This allows us to lay out customized strategies based on the specific fiscal situation of each agency we work with. To help you prepare for municipal debt issuance, we look out for any credit weaknesses that need to be proactively addressed. During the financing process, we help you educate your governing body and the public, and gather and present information to rating agencies, investors and lenders to secure appropriate credit rating, and minimize financing costs.
Contact Ridgeline to find out how we can help you in your municipal financing journey.
Continuing Disclosure Compliance
Municipal debt issuance often comes with extensive continuing disclosure obligations imposed by the SEC Rule 15c-12(b)(5), as well as by investors and lenders. Ridgeline can help you prepare and file the necessary reports. Our services include the following
Annual Debt Reporting Compliance
The California Senate Bill 1029 requires California public agencies with outstanding municipal bonds to file the Annual Debt Transparency Report with the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission for all bonds issued after January 20, 2017. The report needs to include the following information:
Ridgeline can work with your staff and trustees to collect the necessary data and to file the reports.
Local public agencies have many ways of obtaining financing. Various short- and long-term municipal financing structures exist that can be repaid through tax revenues, customer fees, or special assessments.
Larger capital projects, such as infrastructure improvements, buildings, and major equipment purchases, are most commonly financed with long-term debt. While interest costs make such projects more expensive, borrowing allows local governments to build or acquire capital facilities and equipment in a more timely manner, to get ahead of the construction cost escalation, to achieve cash flow predictability, and to allocate project costs to their beneficiaries.
Temporary cash flow deficits and bridge funding during the construction period can be covered by issuing short-term debt.
Federal laws set rules for the tax-exempt status of public debt and the process for issuing and disclosing debt obligations, while state constitutions and statutes dictate debt capacity and limitations.
Long-term credit facilities typically do not mature for more than a decade and often extend to a 30- and even to 40-year term. The types of long-term financing vary widely, depending upon the nature of the project.
Municipal bonds are often used for larger projects that require long-term repayment period. Private placements, or bank loans, can be an attractive alternative to municipal bonds for smaller agencies and projects with relatively shorter repayment terms.