This section of the web site provides selected information to potential investors regarding certain upcoming state of Ohio bond issues and the process by which Ohio bonds may be purchased. Ohio bonds help to finance infrastructure, schools, housing, roads, and other important public projects in the state of Ohio. Ohio-Bonds also finance economic development assistance programs intended to attract, create, grow, and retain businesses across the state.
This site provides prospective investors information on state of Ohio bonds, including the types of bonds offered, the financial resources securing their repayment, information on how to purchase Ohio bonds, and selected upcoming bond sales. The site also includes responses to some frequently asked questions (FAQs).
This site has been developed and will be maintained by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM). OBM is a cabinet-level agency within the executive branch of Ohio state government. OBM's debt management section approves the issuance of new state debt and manages existing state debt.
Types of State Bonds Offered
General Obligation Bonds
General Obligation (G.O) bonds are backed by the full faith and credit, revenue and taxing power of the state, except that (i) state highway user receipts which may be used only for highway purposes and (ii) net state lottery proceeds which may be used only for primary and secondary education. The Ohio Public Facilities Commission and the Treasurer of state issue G.O. bonds on behalf of the state of Ohio for the following purposes:
Provides funding for state contributions for the cost of school buildings and related capital facilities for a system of common schools throughout the state.**
Provides grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations for the purpose of preserving green space and natural areas, development of recreational trails, and protection of farmland for agricultural production through the purchase of agricultural easements.*
Provides funding for state contributions for the cost of school buildings and related capital facilities for state-supported and state-assisted institutions of higher education.*
Highway (Capital Improvements)
Provides funding for state contributions for the cost of construction, reconstruction, or other improvements of highways, including those on the state highway system and urban extensions, those within or leading to public parks or recreations areas, and those within or leading to municipalities. The budgeted source of payment of debt service on these G.O. bonds is highway user receipts, including the motor vehicle fuel tax.***
Provides loans and grants to finance or assist in the financing of public infrastructure capital improvements of municipal corporations, counties, townships, and other government entities as designated by law.*
Provides financing for capital facilities for state and local parks and natural resources.* Coal Research and Development- Provides grants and loans for the research, development and implementation of coal technology that will encourage the use of Ohio coal.*
Provides grants for the development of sites in support of industry, commerce, distribution, and research and development by preparing those sites for immediate development by business prospects.*
Third Frontier Research and Development
Provides grants to nonprofit and for-profit entities for research and development projects in support of Ohio industry, commerce and business. Project awards focus on biosciences, advanced materials, information technology, power and propulsion, and instruments-controls-electronics.*
Provides funding for compensation to eligible persons for military service in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, or Iraq conflicts.*
* General obligation pledge excludes both highway user receipt and net state lottery profits.
** General obligation pledge excludes highway user receipts, but includes net state lottery profits.
*** General obligation pledge includes highway user receipts, but excludes net state lottery profits.
Special Obligation Bonds
Special obligation bonds are secured by lease-rental payments that are subject to biennial appropriations from the state's operating budgets. Special obligation bonds are not secured by a pledge of the state's full faith and credit, and bondholders have no right to have taxes or excises levied by the General Assembly for the payment of debt service. The Treasurer of State issues special obligation debt on behalf of the state of Ohio for the following purposes:
Administrative Building Facilities
Provides financing for capital facilities to house branches and agencies of state government, including state office buildings and facilities.
Provides financing for adult prisons and other correctional facilities (including juvenile detention facilities and community-based facilities) for state and certain local government entities.
Cultural and Sports Capital Facilities
Provides financing for grants administered by the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission for cultural and sports capital facilities at Ohio's non-profit theaters, museums, historical sites and publicly owned professional sport venues.
Mental Health Capital Facilities
Provides financing for state and community-based capital facilities for mental health and developmental disabilities purposes.
Parks and Recreation Capital Facilities
Provides financing for capital facilities for state and local parks and recreation.
Transportation and Highway Safety Buildings
Provides financing for capital facilities housing the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Debt service on these special obligations is paid from biennial appropriations from the state general revenue fund, except that debt service on obligations issued for ODOT and DPS facilities is payable from biennial appropriations of highway user receipts, including the motor vehicle fuel tax.
Certificates of Participation (COPs)
Certificates of participation in lease-purchase agreements entered into by state agencies are also used to finance capital improvements or equipment. The payments under the lease agreement serve as the source of payment of the COPs and are subject to biennial appropriation. Holders of the COPs have no right to have taxes or excises levied by the General Assembly for the payment of debt service. COPs have been issued in connection with leases entered into by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to finance the acquisition and installation of the following information technology systems:
Multi-Agency Radio Communications System Project (MARCS)
MARCS is a statewide computer and communications network administered by the Department of Administrative Services that is designed to provide instant voice and data communication and supply a communications backbone to the public safety and emergency management.
Ohio Administrative Knowledge System (OAKS)
OAKS is an enterprise resource planning system and is being implemented to support the common back office operations of the state. Once complete, OAKS will have integrated the major statewide business functions, including: capital improvements, financials, fixed assets, human resources and procurement.
State Taxation Revenue and Accounting System (STARS)
STARS is an integrated tax collection and audit system administered by the Ohio Department of Taxation intended to replace the state's existing separate tax software and administration systems.
Revenue Obligations Payable from Federal Title 23 Highway Funds
The Treasurer of State also issues Major New State Infrastructure Project Revenue Bonds (also known as Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles or GARVEEs) to fund selected highway construction projects that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The debt service charges on these bonds are secured by and payable primarily from Federal Title 23 Highway Funds received and to be received by the state, subject to biennial appropriations by the General Assembly.
Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission Revenue Obligations
The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure (OTIC) operates the Ohio Turnpike System, a modern, limited access highway which travels 241 miles across the northern part of Ohio. The OTIC issues turnpike revenue bonds to pay costs of construction, renovation and replacement of the roadway, interchanges, bridges, service plazas, tollbooths and other improvements to the system. These bonds are secured and payable from tolls charged for use of the system and certain other revenues.
Ohio Housing Finance Agency Residential Mortgage Revenue Bonds
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) issues single family residential mortgage revenue bonds to provide affordable housing opportunities for certain first-time Ohio homebuyers. These bonds are secured and payable from loan repayments made by the borrowers.(1)
Ohio Water Development Authority Program Revenue Bonds
The Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) issues bonds to provide loans for local government environmental infrastructure. These bonds are primarily secured by and payable from loan repayments made by the local government recipients of those loans. OWDA bond programs include:
Community Assistance Water Development Bonds
Proceeds of these bonds are used to provide low-interest financing to help communities maintain affordable water and wastewater rates.(2)
Drinking Water Assistance (State Match and Leveraged Revenue Bonds), Fresh Water Development Bonds & Pure Water Bonds
Proceeds of these bonds are deposited into the Drinking Water Assistance Fund (DWAF) which was created to assist public water systems to finance the costs of infrastructure to achieve or maintain compliance with federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. Eligible drinking water projects include the development and/or acquisition of potable water sources, construction and expansion of water treatment facilities, and the installation or improvement of water distribution systems.
Water Pollution Control (State Match Revenue Bonds) & Water Pollution Control (Water Quality Revenue Bonds)
Proceeds of these bonds are deposited into the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) which are used to provide funding for eligible sewage and water pollution control projects including the development of sewage treatment facilities, interceptor sewers, sewage collection systems, storm sewer separation projects, municipal wastewater treatment improvements and non-point pollution control projects. The WPCLF also provides funding for eligible storm water projects.
(1) OHFA also issues multi-family housing revenue bonds to provide lower-cost debt financing for multi-family rental housing, the security for the repayment of which is project specific and is not addressed on this Web site.
How to Purchase State of Ohio Bonds
The state provides individual investors the opportunity to place orders to buy bonds before other investors.
- Individual investors have the opportunity to place orders before other investors (such as insurance companies and mutual funds) through a 'retail order period.' Investors cannot purchase bonds directly from the state, they must be purchased through a broker.
- Individual investors earn the same investment return as institutional investors who buy the same bond maturity.
- Individuals should check with their broker to learn about any transaction or account maintenance fees.
To buy bonds, follow these steps:
Step 1 - Open a brokerage account
In order to purchase any bonds, you must have an account established with one of the brokerage firms participating in the bond sale. To view a list of participating firms, please see Upcoming Bond Offerings.
Each brokerage firm has its own requirements and timing for opening an account. The state does not endorse any particular brokerage firm and assumes no responsibility or obligation with respect to the relationship between any investor and any brokerage firm.
Step 2 - Learn about state of Ohio bonds
Bonds can only be offered through an Official Statement. Download and read the Preliminary Official Statement to learn about the bonds being offered, including their security, maturity dates, credit rating, the types of projects they finance and other information you may find important to help you make an informed investment decision. This Web site is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of offers to buy any bonds.
Step 3 - Place your order
Contact the broker with whom you have an account, either online or by phone, to get more information about how to buy bonds during the retail order period.
Other State Issuers
Links to other state issuers websites
Upcoming Bond Sales
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean when a bond is "tax-exempt"?
Tax-exempt means that the interest paid on the bond is exempt from federal income taxes and from Ohio personal income taxes. Not all state of Ohio bonds are "tax-exempt". For additional information about the tax status of specific bonds, read the "Tax Matters" section of the official statement for those bonds.
What does it mean when a bond is "taxable"?
Taxable means that the interest you earn on the security is not exempt from federal income taxes and may or may not be exempt from state personal income taxes. For additional information about the tax status of specific bonds, read the "Tax Matters" section of the official statement for those bonds.
What are some of the key features of municipal bonds?
Interest Rate - the issuer pays interest to bond investors in exchange for the use of the loaned money. The interest rate is a percentage of the principal (the amount borrowed/invested), accruing over a specified period (typically, semiannually). Interest rates vary depending on the term and prevailing bond market conditions and may be fixed or variable. Fixed interest rates are set on the pricing date.
Price - the price is the amount investors are willing to pay for a bond initially or in the secondary market. Price is based on certain variables, including current market yields, supply and demand, credit quality, term to maturity, and tax status. Price and yield move in opposite directions. When market yields increase, the price or value of a bond decreases, and vice versa.
Yield - the yield generally refers to the rate of return an investor earns on the bond based on the price and interest rate. Yield can be calculated in different ways to reflect differing assumptions and investors should consult their brokers or financial advisors to learn more about yield.
Maturity Date - maturity date refers to the date when the principal on the bond is scheduled to be repaid to the investor.
Redemption Provisions - some bonds contain provisions that allow the issuer to redeem or "call" all or a portion of the bonds or notes, at specified prices, prior to their stated maturity date. Bonds with redemption provisions are often called when current market interest rates are lower than the rates on the bonds.
Ratings/Credit - a credit rating is an evaluation of an issuer's credit quality based primarily on its current and projected financial and economic conditions. Most municipal bonds are rated by one or more of the three major rating agencies: Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investor's Service, and Standard & Poor's. Investors are advised to obtain and review the credit reports associated with a bond offering prior to making an investment decision.
Denominations - fixed interest rate bonds are typically sold in a minimum denomination of $5,000 and whole multiples thereof.
Debt service - refers to the payment of principal and interest on outstanding bonds.
What are some risks involved in investing in municipal securities?
Credit Risk - risk that the issuer is not able to pay the scheduled principal and interest on a full and timely basis. A change in the credit rating on bonds after they are issued can affect their value.
Interest Rate Risk - Interest rate risk is the risk that changes in market interest rates may increase or decrease the market value of a bond. When interest rates decrease, the price of fixed-rate bonds and notes increases, and when interest rates increase, the price of fixed-rate bonds and notes decreases.
For a more thorough discussion of the risks associated with a particular municipal security, you are strongly encouraged to read the associated official statement and consult a licensed financial professional.
What if I want to sell my municipal security prior to maturity?
Most municipal securities may be sold prior to maturity with the assistance of a brokerage firm. If an investor sells a municipal security prior to maturity, he or she may receive more or less than the original price depending on prevailing market interest rates, supply and demand, and perceived credit quality of the bond or note, among other variables. In addition, the investor should consult a tax advisor for any tax implications.
What is a preliminary official statement (POS)?
The POS is an informational disclosure document released prior to the sale that describes the proposed new issue of bonds prior to final determination of the maturity amounts, interest rates and offering prices/yields. The POS contains preliminary information on the terms and conditions of the bond sale including the purpose, security features, and discloses economic, financial and legal information applicable to the issue. The POS should be used by potential investors to evaluate the structure and credit quality of the bonds.
What is the official statement (OS)?
An OS is an informational disclosure document released after the pricing of the bonds and includes all of the information contained in the POS (including any needed updates) in addition to filling in the final maturity amounts, interest rates, and offering prices/yields.
What is the pricing date?
The pricing date is the day the interest rate, yield, and price for each maturity of a bond issue are established. The pricing period can last one, two or more days.
What is the retail order period?
The retail order period typically takes place one or two days before the institutional order period and gives retail investors an opportunity to place orders on a first priority basis.
What is the difference between buying a bond in the "primary" market versus the "secondary market"?
New bond issues are sold in the primary market. In a new issue, most of the terms are set, including the initial price and interest rate, and the bonds are sold to investors, with the issuer receiving the proceeds of the sale. The initial sales commission (called the 'takedown') is paid to the broker-dealer by the issuer, such as the state of Ohio.
A secondary market transaction does not involve the issuer, but is a transaction between two investors - a buyer and a seller. Secondary market transactions involve a brokerage firm which acts either as a intermediary between the buyer and seller, or as a buyer or seller itself. Buyers pay sales commissions to brokerage firms to compensate them for their services in facilitating the transaction. Market conditions, such as prevailing interest rates, supply and demand, and credit quality, among other variables, determine the price, which may differ from the original price.
What is a refunding bond?
A refunding bond is a bond issued to retire existing bonds, typically done to achieve cost savings by replacing existing higher interest bonds with new lower interest bonds.
Terms Of Usage Disclaimer
You must read the following information before continuing to BuyOHBonds.com. Use of this Web site constitutes acknowledgment and acceptance of the following terms and conditions:
Under no circumstances shall the information on this Web site constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of the securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.
The following Web pages contain information relating to purchasing bonds or other obligations of the state of Ohio and certain other authorities and commissions. The information is provided for reference only and does not purport to include every item which may be of interest for any particular bond issue, nor does it purport to present full and fair disclosure within the meaning of applicable securities law with respect to any of the matters or programs addressed.
Investment decisions should be made only after full review of the official statement and other relevant matters in connection with a particular bond issue. You are strongly encouraged to carefully read the official statement, because it contains important, detailed information regarding the particular investment, the issuer of the security, and the risks that may be associated with the investment. You must make your own decision as to whether to participate in any of the investments identified herein. Neither the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, nor the issuer of the security, the underwriters of the security, and their agents, advisors, representatives or counsel has made or will make any recommendation as to participation in any investment.
Under no circumstances shall the information contained on this Web site constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any investment securities. No offer to sell securities, and no sale of securities, will be made in any jurisdiction where the offer or acceptance thereof, solicitation of an offer or acceptance thereof, or sale would not be in compliance with the securities laws of those jurisdictions.
The Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) maintains the following Web pages. OBM has not undertaken nor has any obligation to update any information included on these pages. The information and documents available on these pages set forth information as of their respective date or their date of posting and the user understands that there may have been changes in the affairs of the state of Ohio since the date of posting that information. OBM cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of this information. Any links to other Web sites contained herein are given solely for the convenience of the user and OBM assumes no responsibility or liability for the contents thereof. The information herein (and the terms and conditions of the access to and use of this information) are subject to change without notice and OBM reserves the right to terminate any portion or all information on this Web site.