Maryland sold $150 million in bonds yesterday at an interest rate of 4.95 percent, the third-best rate the state has received in 17 years.
A syndicate headed by Goldman, Sachs & Co. offered the best rate among four bidders.
Maryland is one of only five states with an AAA rating from all major bond rating houses. Moody's rating service praised Maryland for "a long record of sound financial management," and cited the state's nearly $500 million in reserve funds as a factor in the prime rating.
Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein said the bid was about half a percentage point lower than the composite bids on recent bond ratings by other AAA states.
"On $150 million, half a percent saves taxpayers a lot of money," said Gov. Parris N. Glendening.
Money from the bond sale is to be used for a variety of state and local projects, including $39 million for state and local jails, $26.9 million for school construction, $11.1 million for water quality projects, $1.8 million for health care facilities and $5.5 million for general state construction.
The remainder is to be used for cultural and educational projects.