Georgia maintains AAA bond rating: Deal: State one of only eight to hold status, which lowers borrowing costs

March 10, 2011

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia has once again received triple-A bond ratings from all three major municipal bond rating agencies.

“Georgia is one of just eight states with the coveted triple-A ratings from all three rating agencies, and it is a reflection of the state’s commitment to sound fiscal management and the conservative leadership of our General Assembly,” said Deal.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle added: “Today's announcement is a validation of our efforts to balance the budget and make fiscally responsible decisions even in these difficult times. Like Governor Deal and Speaker Ralston, I am committed to ensuring we responsibly fund our key priorities, and I look forward to working with them to continue to keep Georgia an attractive state to invest in."

Speaker David Ralston echoed that sentiment: “Maintaining the state’s triple-A bond ratings during these challenging economic times is a credit to the practical fiscal stewardship of our limited public financial resources. I strongly believe that Governor Deal’s leadership will play an integral role in our state’s future economic success by maintaining these ratings and ensuring that every taxpayer dollar goes as far as it possibly can.”

Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch all have assigned their triple-A bond ratings with stable outlook to the state, with individual ratings being Aaa, AAA and AAA, respectively. A triple-A rating is the highest rating available to a bond issuer.

“The state’s longstanding ‘AAA’ rating and Stable Outlook reflect conservative debt management, a proven willingness and ability to support fiscal balance and a diversified economy,” reported Fitch. “Despite economic weakness during the recession, the state’s economy has grown rapidly and diversified over time.”

Moody’s recognized Georgia’s “conservative fiscal management, moderate debt burden and well-funded pensions in its rating report.”

“Georgia has what we view as a well-diversified economy with a growing education and health sector,” reported Standard and Poor’s. The company also revised its score of Georgia’s financial management practices from “good” to “strong” to reflect the state’s adoption of financial forecasting methods that include both revenue and expenditure forecasting. “A score of strong indicates that financial management practices are strong, well embedded and likely to be sustainable,” the report explained.

“These ratings illustrate confidence in Georgia’s financial well being and mean lower interest rates for the state and a savings to our taxpayers,” said Deal. “In this case, the 2.57 percent interest rates allows the state to realize a savings of nearly $35 million by issuing refunding bonds.” The bonds are backed by motor fuel funds and the savings will benefit the Georgia Department of Transportation.

 

For more information:

Katy Pando

Director of Communications

Georgia State Financing & Investment Commission

404-463-8564

katy.pando@spo.ga.gov