Rankings from ‘Big Three’ credit agencies
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2015) — Three nationally recognized credit rating services have given high marks to Louisville’s credit worthiness, citing Metro Government’s experienced management, financial policies and positive economic trends.
The ratings came as Louisville Metro sold bonds to fund $57 million of projects from the fiscal year 2016 capital budget, including construction of the South Central Library, an upgrade to the 9-1-1 radio system, road and sidewalk paving, and general construction and maintenance needs throughout the community.
Louisville Metro also sold $12 million of bonds to fund Mayor Greg Fischer’s Affordable Housing Initiative, Louisville CARES.
Fischer said the strong ratings by the Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings Inc., and Standard & Poor’s—known as “The Big Three” credit agencies—reflect his administration’s commitment to fiscal integrity, as well as growth in local economy.
“We keep our financial house in order, and taxpayers benefit,” Fischer said. “Consumers with better credit scores pay a lower interest rate when they go to borrow. The same is true for a city with a good rating.”
Fitch affirmed Louisville with an AAA rating, which is its highest rating.
“Fitch expects continued structural budget balance given management’s close controls, conservativeness and positive economic trends,” the agency said in its review.
Standard & Poor’s lists Louisville at AA+, and Moody’s Investors Service gives Louisville an Aa1 rating.
“The adopted fiscal 2016 General Fund budget is structurally balanced,” Moody’s analysts said. “Louisville Metro’s formal financial policies and experienced management will provide continued operating stability in the next year.”
The S&P analysts said, “The metro government’s deep and diverse economic base, coupled with a strong management team that has been maintaining budget stability, further support our view that the organization will maintain its long-term budget stability.”
Daniel Frockt, the city’s chief financial officer, said the high ratings “speak directly to the Mayor’s Strategic Plan Objectives of resolving systemic budget issues and job creation.”
The 20-year tax-exempt bond was sold to Citigroup with a winning interest bid of 2.56 percent.
The 30-year taxable bond was sold to Baird & Co. with a winning interest bid of 4.09 percent.