Moody’s Joins S&P In Assigning Richardson “Triple A” Bond Rating

04/19/2010

Moody's Joins S&P In Assigning Richardson “Triple A” Bond Rating
 
As part of Moody’s recalibration of all municipal ratings to their global rating scale, the City of Richardson’s bond rating with the agency has changed from “Aa1” to “Aaa”. Aaa is the highest rating category assigned by Moody’s.


With this rating, along with the City’s rating of “AAA” by Standard & Poor’s, the City of Richardson has the highest ratings assigned by both rating agencies. This places Richardson in the top 6.8% in the nation and 3.1% in Texas to hold AAA status.

During the City’s last rating check, the Standard & Poor’s rating agency reported Richardson as being one of only 14 cities in Texas’ 1,208 communities (and one of only 169 cities in the nation’s 18,500 cities) with a AAA bond rating. High level bond ratings mean the City, and its taxpayers, benefit from the lowest available interest rates on debt issuances, and will help if voters approve a $66 million bond package next month.

In its rationale, S&P cited Richardson’s large economic base, role in the Metroplex as a primary employment center, location of a significant number of technology-based companies, strong residential income and wealth levels and “Strong, tenured, and responsive management;” as reasons for its high rating.

Similarly, Moody’s Investor Services has repeatedly noted the positive influence of the City’s long-tenured, stable management team in contributing to the City’s fiscal success. That makes me proud to have the people we have in place who help make this possible.

In its opinion, Moody’s reported its AAA rating was, “Reflective of a relatively sizable, affluent tax base that derives its value in almost equal proportions between residential and commercial/industrial properties; strong financial management with a demonstrated commitment to maintain financial flexibility; and a manageable debt position.”

This latest success story is the result of many years of working towards diversifying our economy. We have successfully weathered the telecom downturn a decade ago, and strategically diversified our economic development strategy since then, which has helped during this most recent economic downturn. Evidence can be found by the community’s relatively strong sales tax figures, no need to raise taxes to balance the budget and consistently strong fiscal ratings from outside examiners.

This is the second round of good economic news in Richardson in recent weeks. Earlier this month Richardson’s sales tax numbers went from red to black for the first time in more than a year.

Year-to-date sales tax collections are up 6.4% compared to last year, and "base to base" collections are up .1% during the same time period.

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