County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said a $343.2 million pension obligation bond in March could net the county up to $125 million in savings over 13 years.
The bond would cover the county's full unfunded actuarial accrued liability – the amount of promised benefits exceeding a pension plan's assets.
Like Certificates of Participation, the pension obligation bond wouldn't require voter approval but would need consent from the Board of Supervisors.
Huckelberry said county staff will begin talking to the board about the bond in mid-March.
"What the pension system is doing is charging the county 7.3 percent interest on the unfunded liability," he said. "And so that's where you see huge growth in the whole concept of pension bonds."
The county's credit rating allows it to borrow money at 1.5 to 2.5 percent instead of paying at 7.3 percent, he said.
"It's just a savings," he said. "It an obvious savings associated with the program. So, we can either decide to do this and have a value savings between $75-$125 million, or we can continue to pay within the schedule."
The bond shouldn't result in any tax increases, he said.
"Actually, it probably would hold taxes down or even decrease them," Huckelberry said. "Because the savings are really savings we don't have to pay, and therefore we don't have to have revenues or taxes to make those larger payments."