‘A major achievement for the city’: St. George receives S&P’s highest bond ratings

ST. GEORGE — Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, also known as S&P, recently reviewed two bonds issued by the city of St. George and gave them high ratings that highlight the city’s financial stability and ability to meet financial obligations.

This file photo show children playing at the the Broken Mesa Park in the Desert Canyons community of St. George, Utah, April 27, 2023 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

St. George received a AA+ credit rating on the city’s $15.2 million general obligation bond issuance for the 2023 Trails, Parks and Recreation G.O. Bond. This is the second-highest credit rating an organization can receive.

The S&P also evaluated the sales tax bond the city issued last year for the new city hall being built on Main Street. S&P upgraded that bond’s credit rating from AA+ to AAA, which is the highest rating an organization can receive.

“This is awesome news for St. George and a clear indicator of our economy and fiduciary strength,” Mayor Michele Randall said in a press release. “It is unprecedented in our history to receive a AAA bond rating and there are only a handful of similar credit ratings across the state.”

Just what exactly do these ratings means for St. George and its residents?

AA+ and AAA are the highest ratings the agency gives. An organization with those ratings is considered to have a strong credit worthiness and considered financially stable.

This file photo shows the groundbreaking for the new St. George City in downtown St. George, Utah, Sept. 20, 2023 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The high credit ratings can help the city procure lower interest rates on bonds it issues. This can lead to savings for the city, which in turn can translate into lower taxes or more funds available for public services and infrastructure projects.

The higher bond rating can also enhance the city’s reputation and credibility in fanatical markets and make it an increasingly attractive destination for businesses to invest and operate, according to the S&P. This can spur economic growth, job creation and opportunities and contribute to a growing, vibrant local economy.

The S&P’s review of the general obligation and sales tax bonds included an in-depth look at the state and local economy, the city’s financial performance, financial practices and policies, among multiple other factors.

“The rating reflects the city’s very strong local economy that has demonstrated continued population and economic growth,” the S&P report stated. “Overall sales tax revenue collections have experienced year-over-year growth, and consumer spending has remained resilient despite increased inflationary pressures. Notably, sales tax revenues did not decline during either the pandemic or the last three fiscal years.”

The S&P reports can be found under the following links:

“Receiving these credit scores is a major achievement for the city,” Robert Myers, budget and financial planning director for the city of St. George, said in a press release. “It speaks volumes about the excellent financial position of the City due to decisions made by previous and current city leadership and staff.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2024, all rights reserved.

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