General Obligation (G.O.) Bonds

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G.O. bonds are usually issued for buildings and other major improvements when the life of the capital improvement will last longer than 12 years.  Depending on the amount to be issued in a calendar year and current Internal Revenue Service regulations, the bonds may be exempt from federal income tax. The estimated rate of interest will be from four percent to six percent at the time of the writing of this publication. The rate will also depend on maturity of the issue and the credit rating of the issuer.

Upon the issuance of a general obligation (GO) bond, the county pledges the full faith, credit, and unlimited taxing power of the county as to all taxable property in the county or a designated portion of the county. T.C.A. § 9- 21-201. These bonds may be issued with a maturity of up to 40 years; however, investors usually prefer 15 to 20 years. T.C.A. § 9-21-213(a). Counties are generally mandated to provide various services and are given the power to provide funding for these services, with certain restrictions. Under this act, registered voters may petition the county for an election on the issuance of the proposed bonds. T.C.A. § 9-21-207. Also, the county legislative body may hold a voluntary election. T.C.A. § 9- 21-208.Refer to T.C.A. §§ 9-21-101 through 9-21-216 or T.C.A. §§ 49-3-1001 through 49-3-1007 for school bonds.