Photo: WilWheaton on flickr
Falling property values in Las Vegas led all three major ratings agencies to take negative actions on the area’s school district this week, Bond Buyer reports.The decisions come as the Clark County School District – the nation’s fifth largest school system – gets ready to sell $100 million in refunding bonds next week. The district, which covers all of Las Vegas, owes more than $4 billion in debt.
Nevada’s budget woes have added to the school district’s financial struggles. State funding is the school district’s primary source of revenue.
Facing a $440 million shortfall in the state’s education budget, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican, has proposed taking $300 million from Clark County School District’s bond reserve to reduce the state’s operating funding for the district.
Clark County school officials say the plan would force the district to either raise property taxes or pay twice as much on the principal and interest of its outstanding debt. Any debt restructuring would likely have a further negative impact on the district’s bond rating.
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