Fitch Awards City of Arlington Highest Possible Rating For 2nd Year

Articles Finance Bond Rating 03-14-16

The City of Arlington received high marks for its financial strength in February following a review by the three major credit rating agencies.

For the second year in a row, Fitch awarded the City’s General Obligation debt with the highest possible rating: AAA.

In its rating report, Fitch praised the long-term planning and reserve policies.

“Arlington’s strong financial performance reflects the city’s ability to manage expenditures at a rate below its healthy revenue growth,” the report read.

Arlington’s manageable capital plan also “reflects the city’s maturity and disciplined attention to infrastructure needs.”

Standard & Poor’s gave Arlington a AAA rating in 2013.  Standard & Poor’s (S&P) also affirmed the City’s AAA rating on General Obligation debt for a third year in a row. Moody’s maintained its rating of Arlington at Aa1 which is one notch below its highest rating. Both S&P and Moody’s designated a stable outlook for Arlington, citing the City’s improving economy and steady and capable management. These ratings are also dependent on the state and regional economy and governance.

The strong ratings will save the City and its taxpayers money, City Manager Trey Yelverton said.

“Similar to a person’s credit score, bond ratings reflects the City’s ability to meet its financial commitments,” Yelveron said. “A higher credit rating allows the City of Arlington to hold down costs by borrowing money at lower interest rates for future capital projects.”

Earlier this month, Arlington refinanced $49.4 million in 2005 general obligation and certificate of obligation debt to a lower interest rate. The refinance will save the City about $292,000 a year in net present value over the next 17 years.

Arlington will also go through the rating process again later this spring ahead of bond sales planned for May and June.