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What do bond ratings mean for taxpayers?

Bond rating slips for Lodi Unified; downgrade reflects state budget woes

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Posted: Saturday, March 5, 2011 12:00 am

Remember how important your credit score was when you financed a car? That score not only determined if you got the loan; it also dictated your interest rates and monthly payments.

Like credit scores for an individual, bond ratings serve as a litmus test for the fiscal strength of a city, county or school district. Bonds are used to pay for such things as new schools and water treatment plants. A better bond rating can entice investors and lower borrowing costs — costs that are ultimately borne by the taxpayer.

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