What is an Improvement Authority?
An Improvement Authority is an independent agency that can finance major infrastructure improvements. It can bond (finance) projects at low interest rates because of Morris County’s AAA bond rating. That outstanding bond rating means borrowers pay a lower interest rate for money used to pay for projects, reducing the total cost of the project.
Lowering the project cost saves money for those who repay the bonds. In the case of county, municipal, or school projects, the savings have a direct benefit to the taxpayers whose taxes repay the bonds.
An Improvement Authority can also finance lease-purchases for municipalities and school districts, saving taxpayers millions in interest. This allows the borrowing agencies to literally ‘do more with less’, enhancing the services they provide to Morris County citizens.
Who would use an Improvement Authority
Municipalities, school districts, non-profit organizations, limited dividend housing corporations, redevelopment entities or other private corporations can apply to the MCIA for project funding.
Projects can include capital equipment, airports, parking facilities, convention centers, tourism facilities, redevelopment projects, areas in need of rehabilitation, and low and moderate income housing projects, among others.
How does an agency apply for financing?
Depending on the financing being requested, an application is filled out for consideration by the Improvement Authority.
- If the project is a refinancing of existing debt, including Bond Anticipation Notes, existing permanent financing, and/or new funding or unfunded ordinances to be funding, a pooled application should be filled out and submitted.
- If the project is for the County Guaranteed Leasing Program, a capital financing application should be filled out and submitted.
When and why did Morris County create its Improvement Authority?
The Morris County Improvement Authority (MCIA) was created by unanimous vote of the Morris County Board of Freeholders (now County Commissioners) in 2002. The State of New Jersey, through the Local Finance Board, unanimously approved the creation of the MCIA in 2002.