City bond ratings — boring but important

Fitch Ratings recently affirmed its top bond rating of “AAA” for the city of Knoxville, the city said in a statement released Tuesday.

The news release also noted that Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services had recently affirmed high bond ratings for the city — “Aa1” with a stable outlook from Moody’s and AA+ from Standard & Poor’s.

Fitch cited the city’s “sound and established economic underpinning, high and consistent reserves, and affordable debt burden,” according to the news release.

Bond ratings usually aren’t stories local governments spend a lot of time promoting. But they are important — even if they are dry as cardboard.


The ratings offer an outside analysis of the financial health of the government in question. In this case, the agencies agree that Knoxville’s finances are in decent shape and deserve high bond ratings.

With strong bond ratings the city gets a good rate when it sells bonds, which ultimately saves  taxpayers money.

And it gives city hall something to crow about. “Our high bond ratings are a reflection of the City’s strong financial management program and a clear message that Knoxville is a great place to do business,” Mayor Madeline Rogero said in a statement.

Gotta love that humble governmentspeak!

Click here for more on the Fitch ratings.