Walker County to Save Taxpayers Over $1.2 Million by Settling Series 2019 Bonds Nearly 10 Years Early


The Walker County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to settle the largest single debt still on the county’s books. The Board authorized using up to $10,755,000 from the general fund – unassigned fund balance to settle the Series 2019 bonds.

“I’d like to thank the Board for their support with the finances of the county and working toward the common goal of getting our county 100% debt free,” said Shannon Whitfield, Board Chair. “I also appreciate the taxpayers, who carried this burden. We will continue working toward getting this county completely out of debt by the end of this year.”

The Series 2019 bonds replaced the Series 2015 bonds. When the Series 2015 bonds were issued, the county’s credit was considered junk by the financial industry, resulting in a high interest rate and additional fees. The Series 2019 bonds were issued at 2.64%, compared to a 5.2% rate with the Series 2015 bonds. The refinance saved taxpayers $3,921,475 in interest and reduced the life of the bond by five years.

“During the refinance, we were advised to put a five-year call on that bond to allow this governing body five years, which is where we are today, to look at this and say do we want to pay these bonds off early,” Whitfield added. Clearing this debt will free up nearly $1.2 million a year in cash flow for the county and save taxpayers an additional $1.2 to $1.9 million in interest.

Once the Series 2019 bonds are settled later this summer, Walker County’s total debt will be reduced to about $19 million. The largest share of the remaining debt is $5,501,301 and is attributed to the landfill closure and post closure estimated cost.

Walker County’s credit rating was upgraded by Moody’s Investors Service from A1 status to Aa3 in June 2023, placing the county in the “high quality” category for obligations with a “very low credit risk.”