Georgetown bond rating upgraded from AA+ to AAA

Apr 23, 2024

Rating agency Standard and Poor’s upgraded the City’s AA+ bond rating to AAA. The City has maintained a AA+ rating since 2009.

The upgraded bond rating means the City can sell debt for major expenses, including roads, facilities, and vehicles, at lower interest rates. The City issued $91 million in bonds April 23, with the new bond rating resulting in a savings of nearly $800,000. City Council was scheduled to vote on the 2024 debt sale during its regular meeting April 23.

“Georgetown’s improved bond rating is a testament to our commitment to sound financial management,” Chief Financial Officer Leigh Wallace said. “This upgrade demonstrates our dedication to transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility, so we can continue to build upon Georgetown’s already bright future.”

The factors cited in Georgetown’s rating include strong revenues, a stable outlook, and detailed plans for mitigating weather events and cybersecurity risks.

Per the report, “(t)he upgrade reflects the city’s significant tax base growth and a long trend of strong financial practices and policies that support a demonstration of robust long-term planning while maintaining steady financial and debt metrics.”

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. AAA is the highest credit rating S&P assigns to debt issuer’s bonds.

The proceeds from the April 23 debt sale will fund voter-approved street, sidewalk, intersection, and facility improvements. Proceeds will also be used to fund public safety vehicles and equipment upgrades, park and trail improvements, fire station upgrades, parking facilities, and logistics building construction. The proceeds also include self-supporting projects from the airport, Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corporation road improvements, and City office space in the downtown parking garage.

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