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City of Charlottesville Awarded AAA Bond Rating, Completes Bond Sale, and Receives Recognition for Excellence in Financial Reporting

Post Date:05/20/2019 12:16 PM
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Media Contact
Brian Wheeler
Director of Communications
May 20, 2019

City of Charlottesville Awarded AAA Bond Rating, Completes Bond Sale, and Receives Recognition for Excellence in Financial Reporting

City Receives Highest Rating Possible from S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Services

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The City of Charlottesville has again received the highest rating from both S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investor Services.

The rating reviews were conducted in advance of the City’s bond sale completed Tuesday, May 14. The ratings reflect an unbiased assessment of the credit worthiness of the City’s debt obligations to investors in the public financial market. The higher the rating, the greater the likelihood of full and timely repayment of the debt which equates to lower risk to investors and lower interest rates to municipalities.

Both rating agencies cited several key factors in assessing the City’s creditworthiness:

  • A strong and growing economy anchored by a stable institutional presence.
  • Very strong management with comprehensive policies and practices.
  • Sound budgetary performance with adequate financial flexibility.
  • Low and manageable debt burden.

“We are very pleased to have once again received the highest bond ratings possible by both Moody’s and S&P,” said new City Manager Tarron Richardson. “I am excited to have the opportunity to lead a AAA rated community. The City’s tradition of strong financial management was a compelling reason for me to seek this position and I look forward to working with City Council and our experienced staff to continue to excel in this area.”

Moody’s has rated Charlottesville AAA since 1973 and S&P Global has rated the City AAA since 1964.

Bond Sale

With the AAA bond rating, the City received ten bids with Raymond James and Associates submitting the lowest interest rate of 2.36 percent which is one of the lowest rates the City has received in several years. The City received $17.5 million in proceeds which will be used to finance capital improvement projects previously approved by Council. The average annual debt service payment (principal and interest) is $1,082,000 over the next 20 years.

“This is the culmination of a process which takes several months and involves a number of City staff, the City’s financial advisor, and bond counsel,” said the City’s Director of Finance, Chris Cullinan. “As evident by the number of years the City has received this recognition, there has been and continues to be a commitment to be a well-managed organization with strong fiscal policies.”

Recognition for Excellence in Financial Reporting

Also this month, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded the City a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the City’s FY 2018 financial report. This marks the 39th consecutive year the City has received this recognition which is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

The City’s financial report was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the financial report.

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