Wilmington Receives Top Credit Ratings

The City of Wilmington was recently awarded the highest bond rankings available.

The three major credit reporting agencies recently released bond ratings for the City of Wilmington, awarding the city the highest rankings available once again.

Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and Moody’s assigned the city AAA rating for General Obligation Bonds (GOB). S&P and Fitch assigned AA+ rating for Limited Obligation Bonds (LOB). Moody’s assigned the city AA1 for LOB.

“The rating reflects our view of Wilmington’s strong tax base, and seasoned management team that maintains a range of comprehensive formalized financial policies and practices. We believe these factors have helped contribute historically to the maintenance of balanced financial operations and very strong fund balance reserves,” S&P wrote of its decision.

Like most city governments, Wilmington issues bonds to pay for large projects, such as the 2014 Transportation Bond and the 2016 Parks Bond. The projects are paid back over time. The better bond ratings result in lower interest rates and, in turn, lower borrowing costs.

“The city earned the top ratings from all three credit rating agencies in 2016 and has maintained them year over year,” Finance Director Jennifer Maready said. “These top ratings reflect the continued support, strong policies, and tough decisions of City Council and managers. I am very proud to be a part of the city team and have the opportunity to work with the best as demonstrated through these efforts.”

The credit rating agencies determine their ratings based on several factors, including their view of the city’s management of public dollars, the city’s overall financial health and stability, and the city’s amount of savings.

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