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Municipal Debt and Borrowing Training and Resources

Information related to understanding and managing municipal debt, bond ratings and borrowing.

Table of Contents

Understanding and managing municipal debt

Understanding Municipal Debt (PDF)

Capital Improvement Planning Guide (PDF)

Borrowing: Purposes and Procedures (IGR2017-21, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) explains the authorization and issuance of debt by cities, towns, improvement districts and regional school districts, including amendments made by the Municipal Modernization Act in borrowing procedures.

Premiums and Surplus Proceeds for Proposition 2½ Excluded Debt (IGR2017-22, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) explains to local officials the adjustments made to a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion when premiums are received and surplus loan proceeds remain after the project or purpose of the borrowing is completed.

Lease Purchase Finance Agreements (IGR2019-9, PDF)

Guidelines: Municipal Finance Provisions of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) (IGR2019-14, PDF)  This Informational Guideline Release (IGR) explains to local officials the procedures and requirements for establishing and administering a special fund that may be appropriated and spent for certain open space, recreational, historic resource and affordable housing purposes.

Borrowing Guidelines: Asset Useful Life Schedules and Maximum Borrowing Terms (PDF) 

Determining a Minimum Bond Payment Using the Bond Amount Schedule (PDF)

Overview: Tax Exempt Lease Purchases (TELPs) (Video)

Tools for managing debt

Municipal bond ratings

Video series: A Deeper Dive Into Municipal Debt

This series of videos provides an extensive review of municipal debt and how Massachusetts’ cities and towns can issue it. Please note that additional requirements may exist for regional school districts and special purpose districts seeking to issue debt. In all cases, please consult with your municipal and bond counsels when contemplating the issuance of debt. For the Department of Revenue’s official guidance on municipal borrowing and debt, see Informational Guideline Releases 17-21 and 17-22.

View the full video (26 minutes)

View individual segments:

Webinar: State House Note Modernization

The Division of Local Services’ Bureau of Accounts hosted a webinar on August 18, 2021 to highlight the modernization of the State House Note program. View the full video below, download the slides used in the webinar and view the User Guide for submitting State House Notes for approval using the DLS Gateway application.

Date published: July 30, 2020
Last updated: December 29, 2020
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