TYLER, TX - As part of their annual surveillance of credit ratings, Standard and Poor's (S&P) announced that they have reaffirmed the City of Tyler's AAA bond rating.
"To initially receive the AAA bond rating in 2009 was truly a remarkable achievement for our community," said City Manager Mark McDaniel. "However, to have it reaffirmed following these tough economic times is extremely rewarding and is a testament to the fiscal discipline embraced by our community."
In their report, S&P cites the following as underlying factors in reaffirming the City's bond rating:
Tyler's status as the regional trade, service, and health care center for much of northeast Texas;
Tyler's strong wealth levels and adequate income levels partly due to a significant student population;
Consistently very strong financial position;
The City's strong financial management policies; and
A direct debt burden that is expected to remain very low because of a dedicated sales tax that provides cash funding for essentially all of the city's tax-supported capital needs.
"Very few cities have AA, much less a AAA rating," said Steven Adams, managing director of Specialized Public Finance, Inc., the City's financial advisors. "This rating can be directly attributed to the quality leadership of the City and the local, diverse economy. Tyler is a regional economic hub and the strength of its two strongest industries, healthcare and education, contributed greatly to the improved bond rating."
S&P also reported that Tyler's financial performance has remained very strong. Historically, the city has maintained unreserved general fund balances above its formal minimum fund balance policy, which is at least 15 percent of estimated annual operating expenditures.
"I can't express how satisfying it is to see Tyler's exemplary financial management and diverse local economy recognized in this way," said Mayor Barbara Bass. "Not only does the improved rating have significant financial implications for future bond issues, but the rating demonstrates that the financial decisions that the City has made over the last decade were the right things to do."
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