Agencies Reaffirm Highest Bond Ratings for City of Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA, VA–S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service have reaffirmed the City of Alexandria’s top bond ratings of ‘AAA’ and ‘Aaa,’ respectively, in advance of the City’s planned sale of $38.5 million in general obligation tax exempt bonds to fund municipal and school facility capital projects.

“We are very proud that once again, the City has been recognized for its commitment to fiscal responsibility and our strategic work to support economic growth and transit-oriented development,” said Mayor Allison Silberberg.  “We strive to foster a high quality of life for everyone in our community while maintaining the unique and treasured character of our beloved, historic city.”

The City has maintained the highest grades from both major bond rating agencies since 1992, which enables the City to pay very low interest rates for the life of bonds issued to fund major projects. The interest rate for the City’s most recent bond sale, in 2017, was just 2.5% over a 20-year period for $94.9 million tax exempt bonds, and 3.08% for $4.4 million in taxable general obligation bonds.

In reaffirming the City’s bond rating, Moody’s cited Alexandria’s “large and growing tax base that benefits from its location near the District of Columbia, above-average resident wealth levels, a satisfactory financial position, and manageable debt and pension burdens.” Moody’s rating also includes a stable outlook, reflecting the likelihood that “the City will maintain its satisfactory financial position, continued tax base growth and diversification.”

S&P recognized the City’s budgetary performance, flexibility and management and financial approaches, and noted that these “financial practices are strong, well embedded and likely sustainable,” and “we view the city’s management as very strong.” It rated the City’s general obligation bonds “above the sovereign,” because “the city can maintain better credit characteristics than the U.S. [government] in a stress scenario.”