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City Receives Highest Possible Moody’s Bond Rating

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The City of Hilliard has received a Moody’s Investors Service Aaa bond rating, the highest rating Moody’s provides. Moody’s also reports that it projects a stable outlook for the City’s financial future.

Only 15 other municipalities on Ohio have a Aaa rating.

“Upgrade of the issuer rating to Aaa reflects significant economic growth that has driven income tax receipts and enhanced the city’s financial position,” Moody’s reported Thursday. “Additionally incorporated in the rating is the city’s prudent fiscal management, affluent resident profile, and ongoing development activity.”

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.

Mayor Don Schonhardt said the upgrade to Aaa rating speaks highly of the sound financial policies that have been put in place during his four terms of office.

“We have invested significant effort into ensuring Hilliard has experienced smart growth,” Schonhardt said. “We have found the correct balance of residential and commercial development, because we know that to have a successful and vibrant community we have to have a strong commercial tax base.”

That smart growth has ensured that City income tax revenues have continually increased without an increase in the tax rate, allowing the City to fund 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, he said.

It also has ensured that property tax revenues – which are the primary funding source for Hilliard City School District – also remain healthy.

Moody’s agreed with the mayor’s assessment in announcing the upgraded rating: “The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the region’s strong economy and prudent management will allow the city to maintain its currently very strong financial position.”

“This is definitely a huge accomplishment for the City,” said Director of Finance David Delande. “Obviously, this sort of achievement takes years to accomplish, as some of the major factors that go into the rating include economic development, capital projects, budgeting, and financial planning.”

Delande said the City joins Dublin, Westerville, and New Albany as the Central Ohio suburbs possessing the highest rating.

“I think this upgrade definitely indicates strong financial management of the City, along with economic growth, income tax revenues, and how we manage our debt,” Schonhardt said. “This can be attributed to the philosophy this Administration has maintained about how municipal finance should work.”

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