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Marketing & Communications

Posted on: May 29, 2020

Upcoming City Bond Issue Earns Highest Possible Credit Ratings

Winston-Salem Financial Management Services Department logo

NEWS RELEASE
Financial Management Services
May 29, 2020

All three credit rating agencies have assigned AAA ratings – their highest possible ratings -- to the $89 million in general obligation bonds the city is scheduled to sell in June. The high ratings will reduce the amount of interest that the city will pay on the bonds, saving taxpayers’ money.

The ratings by Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings Inc. and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services are based on their reviews of the city’s financial management, the overall economic health of Winston-Salem, and their outlook for the coming years.

Fitch reported that its rating is based on its expectation “that the city will maintain a high level of financial flexibility through the current economic downturn and future business cycles based on its strong budget management, solid ability to cut spending as needed, and ample reserve position.” 

Moody’s said its rating “reflects the city’s strong finances, growing and diverse tax base in the Piedmont Triad region and moderate fixed cost burden.” S&P said its rating reflects the city’s “very strong management, with strong financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment methodology.”

Council Member Robert Clark, the chair of the council’s Finance Committee, said that ratings constitute “independent verification of the good financial management that we have.”

The city plans to offer $67.3 million in general obligation bonds on June 9. These bonds would finance a variety of capital projects, including some of the projects approved by voters in the 2014 and 2018 bond referendums.

On June 18 the city will offer $21.7 million in general obligation bonds to refinance existing debt at lower interest rates. Those bonds are being underwritten by the Winston-Salem office of Robert W. Baird & Co.

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