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Suwanee's credit rating goes up | Business

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Suwanee's credit rating goes up
Business, News, Politics
Suwanee's credit rating goes up

The City of Suwanee’s general obligation bond rating has been raised three times over the past 17 months. This week, Fitch Ratings upgraded the City’s rating on its general obligation and revenue bonds to AA+ from AA.

Last year, in a recalibration, Fitch raised Suwanee’s rating from AA- to AA. In April, Standard and Poor’s upgraded Suwanee’s general obligation rating from AA- to AA based on the City’s historically strong financial position and solid economic foundation.

Fitch Ratings issued its upgrade this week following a routine review. The financial ratings company based the upgrade on “the [C]ity’s very strong financial profile, marked by the consistency of operating results and maintenance of robust reserves and liquidity over a prolonged period of time.”

“To say that we're excited about this would be a huge understatement,” says Suwanee Mayor Dave Williams. “That two separate, independent, and well-respected financial rating companies have upgraded the City of Suwanee’s bond rating in these financially turbulent times says a lot about our fiscal policies and practices.

“Keep in mind, too, that Suwanee has actually lowered the property tax rate each of the past two years,” Williams adds. “So, yes, we take this upgrade as validation that we’re doing things right financially and being good stewards of our taxpayers' money. I’m very proud of our entire staff, who have worked hard to make these ratings possible.”

In its review of Suwanee, Fitch also noted that:

  • Suwanee’s unemployment rate has remained relatively steady and well below the state and national average.
  • The City’s overall debt is approximately 2.1% of market value, which Fitch considers low, and that debt ratios benefit from the City’s use of recurring revenue to fund capital needs.
  • Suwanee’s attractive social and economic characteristics, central location, proximity to Atlanta, and access to extensive transportation infrastructure encourages commercial growth.
  • The City’s pension plan is well-funded, and annual contributions to the plan are approximately 1% of total spending.

An AA+ bond rating from Fitch Ratings, its second highest rating, denotes a “very high credit quality” and indicates that the organization has a very strong capacity for payment of financial commitments.

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