Citing Louisville’s strong economy, sound management, and budgetary flexibility, the nationally recognized credit rating services Fitch Ratings, Inc. and Moody’s Investors Service have again granted Louisville Metro positive bond ratings.
The economic renaissance underway in Louisville includes $13 billion of capital investment since 2014, 80,000 new jobs and 2,700 new businesses since 2011, rising wages and an unemployment rate below four percent. The new acknowledgements from Fitch and Moody’s of “The Big Three” credit agencies position Louisville Metro to build on that economic momentum through additional capital investments across the city.
“Unprecedented economic growth is visible in every corner of Louisville, from the Southwest, South Central and Northeast Regional Libraries to the revitalization at the intersection of 18th and Broadway and the renaissance underway in Russell,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Positive credit ratings strengthen our ability to make smart investments that complement the contributions coming from other sectors.”
Louisville Metro’s upcoming bond sales will be used to repay notes issued in 2017 to provide initial financing for land acquisition associated with the approximately $200 million development of the Butchertown Stadium District. The sale will include $15.8 million in tax-exempt and $14.8 million in taxable general obligation bonds. Louisville City FC, which has enhanced their financing portfolio with support from the state, will pay $14.5 million back to the city over 20 years for reimbursement of a large portion of the land cost.
Fitch again assigned and affirmed its highest rating of AAA for Louisville Metro.
In its report, Fitch stated that the “AAA’ ratings reflect metro government’s low long-term liabilities, strong revenue and expenditure frameworks, and Fitch’s expectation that the metro government will maintain a high level of financial flexibility throughout economic cycles.”
Moody’s affirmed its Aa1 rating for Louisville Metro.
Moody’s report cited Louisville Metro’s “sizeable and growing tax base serving as a regionally important economic hub” as a factor in assigning the Aa1 rating, and the “regionally important local economy” as rationale for issuing a stable outlook.
“Mayor Fischer’s leadership in strengthening our financial foundation has positioned Louisville Metro to act on strategic opportunities that build on our economic momentum,” said Louisville Metro’s Chief Financial Officer, Daniel Frockt. “Our positive credit ratings are key to making that happen.”
Louisville Metro’s bond sales are scheduled for Oct. 31, 2018.