Second Annual Release of the Vermont Bond Bank Financial Medians

Burlington, VT (September 1, 2021) - The Vermont Bond Bank (“Bond Bank”) today announced the second annual release of the Vermont Bond Bank Financial Medians. These benchmarks are the only Vermont-specific source of benchmarking data available for communities seeking to evaluate their financial health.
The Bond Bank annually releases these medians. As compared to the inaugural release in 2020, the Bond Bank increased its governmental unit dataset by nearly 200 percent by leveraging our combined work in both the Pooled Loan Program and Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund activities.
On one hand, the increase gives all users of the benchmarks a more robust base by which to evaluate their municipality, school district, and/or water and sewer system. On the other hand, the increased sample in 2021 makes year-over-year comparisons difficult.
The data does, however, appear to indicate that Vermont communities hunkered down both physically and fiscally in 2020 by paying down debt and increasing cash balances.
More practically, the Vermont Bond Bank Financial Medians provide a starting place to assess the right mix of sources when undertaking a capital plan. The GFOA, for example, advocates for the use of benchmarking to tackle questions of debt capacity, which can then be integrated into a debt affordability analysis that considers long-standing community goals such as overcoming historic legacies of under investment or other unique self-determined considerations.
Please visit the Bond Bank’s resource page for more information on how to use these benchmarks in your community.

Michael Gaughan