Last week, rating agency Standard and Poor’s affirmed the City’s AA+ bond rating. The City has maintained this rating since 2009.
The factors cited in Georgetown’s rating include strong economic growth, strong management practices and financial policies, a strong budget process, and good cash and debt management.
Per the report, “Georgetown is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities with a population of more than 50,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. To date, we think the city’s very strong management has successfully ensured Georgetown’s long-term sustainability by implementing strong financial practices and policies to address growth-related challenges.”
Independent rating services such as S&P provide these evaluations each year. This rating is used by the bond market to help bond buyers understand the creditworthiness of a city’s debt. The rating indicates the financial strength of a city and its ability to pay off debt in a timely fashion. Strong ratings allow cities to borrow money at reduced costs because there is less risk associated with the loan. AA+ is the second highest credit rating S&P provides.
“I’m very proud that Georgetown has maintained our excellent bond rating for more than a decade,” Mayor Dale Ross said. “I know going forward, City Council is committed to maintaining, and even improving, our rating. Right-sizing future debt issuances, maintaining Georgetown’s very low tax rate, and focusing our efforts to ensure on-going, high-quality economic growth is critical to our continued success.
“It’s noteworthy that S&P highlighted our strong management practices,” Ross said. “Specifically, they complimented the City’s use of data and financial models, coupled with the quarterly updates shared during City Council meetings that include detailed budget-to-actual financial information.”
The 2019 debt sale will take place at the council’s April 23 meeting. The proceeds from the sale will fund voter-approved street, sidewalk, and intersection improvements. Proceeds will also be used to upgrade public safety vehicles and equipment, radio communication equipment, fire stations and parking facilities, as well as the airport and the stormwater system.