The Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority has issued $30 million in tax-exempt financing to OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) as it continues to invest in its software development and infrastructure to serve libraries globally from its Central Ohio headquarters. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the OCLC financing is the first Finance Authority financing that is now permitted under changes to the bank qualified bond rules from the Federal Stimulus package. These changes allow each 501(c)(3) institution to issue up to $30 million in tax-exempt financing annually for capital projects and benefit from lower interest rates as a result.
More than half of the $30 million will be used to refund 1998 Series Bonds to get a more favorable interest rate. OCLC’s investment will facilitate the creation and retention of 29 jobs. OCLC plans to make improvements that include upgrading office systems, computers, servers, computer software and other information databases. This project was undertaken in partnership with National City Commercial Capital Corporation.
"The Finance Authority provided a streamlined approach to tax-exempt financing, enabling OCLC to obtain the computer and other resources needed to support its strategic directions and the growth of its services to thousands of libraries worldwide," said Rick J. Schwieterman, Executive Vice President and CFO.
The 2009 investment is the second project in two years where the Finance Authority has assisted OCLC. In 2008, the Finance Authority issued $20 million in tax-exempt financing to assist OCLC with an equipment lease that created 42 full-time jobs.
"A key benchmark for the Finance Authority is satisfied customers. With this second financing for OCLC, we clearly demonstrate our strong customer service orientation", said Jules Garel, Chair of the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority. "We are open for business and are ready to help companies invest in Central Ohio."
Founded in 1967, OCLC is a non-profit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purpose of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 55,000 libraries in the United States and some 17,000 libraries in 111 other countries have used OCLC services manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract, and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s largest resource for cataloging and finding items held in libraries.
The Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority is in its third year of operations and has issued $78.7 million in bond financing closing on nine projects that will invest over $139 million and create over 900 jobs in Central Ohio. The Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority offers creative and alternative financing tools, focusing on job growth, to new and existing companies looking to expand or relocate services to the area. The Finance Authority also provides assistance to community redevelopment projects.