OKC gets top credit ratingsPublished: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 By: Cathy O'Connor Source: The Journal Record
Once again, the city of Oklahoma City has earned the highest bond ratings possible from two of the nation’s most respected financial rating services. The city’s general obligation bonds received an AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s and an Aaa rating from Moody’s Investor Service, indicating extremely strong creditworthiness.
This is important to residents because the high ratings translate into lower interest rates the city pays to sell bonds to fund major capital projects like streets, bridges, buses, sidewalks, trails and park improvements. The savings on interest allow the city to potentially spend more on bond projects like the proposed general obligation bonds voters will decide in September.
Ratings agencies, such as Standard & Poor’s, consider the diversity of the tax base, tax revenues and median income, the community’s level of dependence on certain employers or industries and economic growth.
Oklahoma City’s expanding regional economic base, ongoing downtown redevelopment, strong financial policies and practices and high reserve levels are some of the factors that led to Oklahoma City’s strong rating.
This is the seventh consecutive year that the city has received the highest ratings, reflecting the national bond rating agencies’ confidence in the city’s investment climate. The strong ratings also have a positive impact on economic development. They encourage developers to build significant projects in our area and entice major companies to consider moving to our city.
Cathy O’Connor is the president of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.