The cost of issuing bonds in Texas has gone up, but just a little.
Texas lawmakers last month approved a series of fee hikes to balance the state's two-year, $59.1 billion budget. Included in the increases are higher processing fees for issuers whose deals mst be reviewed by the office of the state's attorney general.
While the fees range from as little as $500 for a $500,000 or smaller issuer to a maximum of $2,500 for multiple series bonds, the greatest increase is for deals of $5 million to $20 million.
That fee doubled to $1,000 per issue.
"We've changed the breakdown a little bit," said Assistant Attorney General Him Thomassen, chief of the state's public finance section. "It's still a pretty small cost of doing business."
The increases took effect with the new fiscal year on Sept. 1 and are expected to double revenues in the public finance section to as much as $500,000 per year. That sum is expected to cover the cost of the six-lawyer, two-secretary division, which reviews most bonds issued in the state.
Mr. Thomassen noted that if Texas had wanted to cash in on processing fees, it might have raised the rates before a major push of school bonds to market.
"We just had our busiest six months ever," he said.