Fitch Significantly Upgrades Arlington’s AT&T Stadium Bond Rating
By Susan Schrock
Posted on May 11, 2016, May 11, 2016

Fitch Significantly Upgrades

The City of Arlington once again received high marks for its financial strength in April following a review by the three major credit rating agencies.

Additionally, Fitch significantly upgraded the City 's AT&T Stadium debt, which rose three notches from A+ to AA+. City Treasurer Ethan Klos said the upgrade is a result of the City 's ability to pay the stadium debt off faster than scheduled. The bonds were originally set to mature in 2035 but are currently set to be paid off by 2028, he said. Based on current revenue trends, the bond payoff could be complete as soon as 2021.

"The City anticipates continuing to pay it off even faster," Klos said.

The high bond ratings will save Arlington and its taxpayers money by enabling the City to borrow money at lower interest rates.

Today, Arlington sold $34.44 million in Permanent Improvement Bonds to pay for park land acquisitions and renovations, recreation center design work, residential street rebuilds, major thoroughfares, State Highway 360 connections and sidewalks. The City also sold $15.995 million in Combination Tax and Revenue Certificates of Obligation today to pay for course renovations and a new clubhouse at the Chester W. Ditto Golf Course as well as landfill improvements.

Next month, the City plans to sell $14.2 million in Combination Tax and Revenue Certificates of Obligation to pay for the City 's self-insurance and risk management program.

The bond debt will be repaid by property tax revenue.

Fitch awarded the City 's bonds with the highest possible rating: AAA. That rating was also designated for $35.8 million in Water and Wastewater System Revenue Bonds that are set to sell in June.

In its rating report, Fitch praised Arlington 's long-term planning and reserve policies.

"Fitch expects Arlington to realize continued sound revenue growth based on economic development currently underway and the city 's participation in the expanding regional economy," the report read. "Revenue-raising capacity is strong, supported by ample tax rate capacity."

Standard & Poors also gave Arlington a AAA rating, citing factors such as the City 's strong economy, strong management and strong financial policies and practices and strong budgetary performance and flexibility.

Moody 's Investors Services reaffirmed the bonds a Aa1 rating, which is one notch below its highest rating. Moody 's assigned an Aa2 rating to the $35.8 million in Water and Wastewater System Revenue Bonds.

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