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Rating Action:

Moody's assigns an initial underlying A1 rating to Valley County School District No. 422 (Cascade), ID's GO bonds

26 Aug 2014

$2.2 million in debt affected

New York, August 26, 2014 --

Moody's Rating

Issue: General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2014; Underlying Rating: A1; Enhanced Rating: Aaa; Sale Amount: $2,195,000; Expected Sale Date: 9/3/2014; Rating Description: General Obligation

Opinion

Moody's Investors Service has assigned an initial underlying rating of A1 to Valley County School District No. 422 (Cascade), Idaho's General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2014. The bonds are secured by the district's full faith, credit and unlimited property tax pledge. The bonds will also receive the Aaa enhancement rating of the Idaho School Bond Guaranty Program. Proceeds from the bonds will be used to refund for savings the district's callable Series 2006 bonds.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The A1 rating reflects the district's small tax base that suffered substantial declines during the recession but is recovering; limited local economy driven by recreational outdoor activity and second homes; the district's small scale of operations that are buttressed by substantial available reserves available outside the general fund; and modest direct debt and manageable pension liabilities.

The Aaa enhanced rating was assigned based on Moody's assessment of the Idaho School Credit Enhancement Program's ability to provide back-up liquidity guarantees for the Sales Tax Guaranty Program (rated Aa1) relative to the substantial value of the Idaho Public School Endowment Fund. Additional credit factors relevant to the rating include: 1) constitutional protections for the fund; 2) investment portfolio and liquidity; 3) coverage for potential calls on guarantee; 4) size, concentration and correlation of guaranteed debt; 5) issuer's management and governance; 6) limited state oversight of program participants and state aid intercept authority. These attributes were compared against other issuers both within and outside of the Idaho School Bond Guaranty Program core peer group and Idaho SBGP ratings are believed to be comparable to ratings assigned to other issuers of similar credit risk.

STRENGTHS

- Strong recent history of structurally balanced financial operations

- Substantial available reserves outside the general fund

CHALLENGES

- Very small scale of operations

- Small tax base and limited local economy

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATING-UP

- Growth in the size of the district's tax base

- Substantial growth in the size of the district's operations

WHAT COULD MOVE THE RATING-DOWN

- Material weakening in the district's financial performance, particularly reserve levels

- Decline in the district's full valuation

The principal methodology used in the underlying rating was US Local Government General Obligation Debt published in January 2014. Please see the Credit Policy page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

The Aaa enhanced rating was assigned based on Moody's assessment of the Idaho School Credit Enhancement Program's ability to provide back-up liquidity guarantees for the Sales Tax Guaranty Program relative to the substantial value of the Idaho Public School Endowment Fund. Additional credit factors relevant to the rating include: 1) constitutional protections for the fund; 2) investment portfolio and liquidity; 3) coverage for potential calls on guarantee; 4) size, concentration and correlation of guaranteed debt; 5) issuer's management and governance; 6) limited state oversight of program participants and state aid intercept authority. These attributes were compared against other issuers both within and outside of the Idaho School Bond Guaranty Program core peer group and Idaho SBGP ratings are believed to be comparable to ratings assigned to other issuers of similar credit risk.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For ratings issued on a program, series or category/class of debt, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series or category/class of debt or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

William Oh
Analyst
Public Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
One Front Street
Suite 1900
San Francisco, CA 94111
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Kristina Alagar Cordero
Asst Vice President - Analyst
Public Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's assigns an initial underlying A1 rating to Valley County School District No. 422 (Cascade), ID's GO bonds
No Related Data.
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