The Ohio Market Access Program (OMAP) is a credit enhancement program offered through the Ohio Treasurer’s office that is designed to lower borrowing costs on short-term notes issued by Ohio schools, cities and local governments.  OMAP leverages the state’s high short-term credit rating to help improve market access and lower borrowing rates for local governments.

In the wake of the global financial crisis, local government public finance professionals across Ohio expressed concerns to the Treasurer’s office about the rising cost of market access, especially for small and infrequent issuers.  The Treasurer launched OMAP as a way to utilize the state’s excess liquidity created by conservative cash management policies to help Ohio municipal issuers obtain more competitive interest rates.  In 2011, legislation was authorized in HB 225 of the 129th Ohio General Assembly which made the program possible.  Through the program, the Treasurer’s office helps improve market access and achieve debt service savings for local governments by providing credit enhancement on municipal notes via a standby note purchase agreement.

Standard & Poor’s has assigned its highest municipal short-term note rating -- “SP-1+” -- to notes issued through OMAP.  This rating reflects the state’s very strong capacity, when necessary, to purchase OMAP-wrapped notes.  By participating in OMAP and receiving its “SP-1+” rating, political subdivisions benefit from strengthened credit quality, lower costs of borrowing, and improved marketability.

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