College of the Canyons announced Monday that Santa Clarita Community College District taxpayers will experience savings when it comes to paying down general obligation bond debt connected to two bonds — Measure C and Measure M — that helped create the college’s Canyon Country campus and other facilities projects.
The college refinanced $36.8 million in bond debt, leading to a $2.9 million savings over the remaining life of the bond, or just over 18 years.
“In essence, we’re getting a lower interest rate on the bonds,” said COC spokesman Eric Harnish. “That means the payments on the bonds go down, which is a good thing for local property owners.”
District property owners pay down the bond debt through their property taxes, Harnish said. They’ll see the savings starting on their 2021-22 tax bills.
“When the opportunity is there, we certainly try to take advantage of it and lower the cost to taxpayers by refinancing bonds,” Harnish said, noting the opportunities are driven by market conditions.
The SCCCD board of trustees voted to refinance the bond debt in April. The district completed the transaction at the end of May, marking the college’s fourth refinancing of debt since 2013.
“Since 2013, the Santa Clarita Community College District’s refinancing efforts have resulted in nearly $50 million in cumulative savings to taxpayers,” Sharlene Coleal, assistant superintendent/vice president of business services at the college, wrote in a prepared statement.
Voters passed Measure C, an $82 million bond, in 2001 to fund the acquisition of 70 acres of land on Sierra Highway to build the college’s Canyon Country campus. The funds also built a classroom and computer facility, science facilities and performing arts classroom and rehearsal spaces.
Voters approved Measure M, a $160 million bond, in 2006, providing funding to complete the initial buildings at the Canyon Country campus.
Both measures qualified COC to receive $56.2 million in construction funds from the state, according to the college.