For the second year in a row, the City of Hilliard has received the highest possible bond rating with a stable outlook from Moody’s Investors Service.
The Aaa rating represents Moody’s assessment of hypothetical debt of the City supported by a general obligation unlimited tax pledge.
Only 15 other Ohio municipalities have a Aaa rating.
The Moody’s rating plays a significant role in the interest rates the City receives when borrowing and the pricing the municipality gets on bonds to fund current-year capital improvement projects.
“The City of Hilliard continues to develop and implement sound financial policies to ensure it is being a good steward of the resources entrusted to us by our community,” said David Delande, Director of Finance. “The Aaa bond rating is evidence of the quality of those efforts.”
These policies ensure the City can continue funding projects and programs that ensure Hilliard residents enjoy great quality of life amenities, safe neighborhoods, and the promise of continued economic health into the future, according to City Manager Michelle Crandall.
“Multiple factors go into this rating,” Crandall said. “Our ability to pay back on our debt each year and our 25 percent reserve fund policy are two such factors. As we look ahead to the 2021 operating and capital budgets, we will keep this same conservative fiscal approach in mind.”
In announcing the rating, Moody’s said: “ The Aaa issuer rating reflects the City’s exceptional credit quality, including a moderately sized tax base with affluent resident income and wealth levels and strong financial operations characterized by robust reserve levels and prudent fiscal management. These factors help mitigate a debt and pension burden that is above-average for Aaa cities. The city has been using debt to finance capital projects in order to accommodate growth.”
Moody’s said that the substantial implications for public health and safety tied to the coronavirus outbreak creates additional risk, it was not a key driver for this rating action.
“We do not see any material immediate credit risks for the city,” Moody’s announced.