The Sonoma Valley Health Care District announced last week that a recent refinancing of $12 million in general obligation bonds will save taxpayers $2.36 million.

The bonds originally were issued in 2009, when interest rates were high, hospital leaders said. But under the refinancing, taxpayers are now paying a new lower interest rate of 3.78 percent.

“This is a substantial savings for Sonoma property owners who pay for the bond through their property taxes, as all of the tax benefits go directly to taxpayers,” said Sharon Nevins, chair of the five-member hospital board.

District property owners approved the $12 million bond measure in 2008 so that Sonoma Valley Hospital could upgrade its facility to meet tough new seismic safety standards. Those funds were supplemented by $11 million in community contributions, leading to the recent grand opening of SVH’s new Emergency Department and Surgery Center.

Hospital board members approved the refinancing during their Jan. 9 meeting. The transaction was completed Feb. 4.