Certificate of Participation (“COP”)

Financing that allows an investor to purchase a participation interest in a stream of payments generated by a lease, installment sale agreement or other governmental obligation. COPs themselves are not municipal obligations but are instead an interest in an underlying municipal obligation. Examples of items financed with COPs proceeds include computers, telephone systems, courthouses, detention facilities, school buildings and recreational facilities. Sometimes COPs are issued with respect to an underlying governmental obligation or pool of obligations that has already been issued or created. For example, governmental installment sale agreements are often packaged together for resale after their execution by the vendor or a financing company through a COPs issuance. It is important to note that not all leases, installment sale agreements or governmental obligations can generate tax-exempt interest, since, in addition to other requirements, only instruments evidencing a government’s borrowing power can bear tax-exempt interest.

All the Bonds

Learn more about the various types of municipal obligations you may encounter.

Hudson Yards Rail Yards

Start with the Bond Basics

Hundreds of Terms and Concepts

Useful Life

An accounting estimate of the number of years it is likely for an asset to remain in service for the purpose of cost-effective revenue generation.