By Chris Bavender
S&P Global recently raised its long-term municipal bond rating of the Town of Whitestown to AA from AA-. The rating reflects, among other things, the town’s strong economy, strong management and strong budgetary performance.
S&P is one of three primary bond rating agencies. Bond credit ratings have a direct impact on interest paid on financing. A higher rating means a lower risk and lower interest rates. Criteria from agency to agency change based on factors that rate upward or downward on the scale.
S&P said Whitestown’s economic and management profiles have continued to strengthen and will remain strong.
“I attribute the continued confidence from the S&P to great town leadership,” said Tanya Sumner, Whitestown’s director of public relations. “Our town manager and town council have done an excellent job of spending responsibly, while also planning for the future and keeping up with our residents’ current needs.”
The rating increase puts Whitestown in line with Carmel, Indianapolis and Noblesville, which also have AA ratings. Zionsville’s S&P rating is AA+.
Sumner said the rating is important because it shows that Whitestown is in a strong financial position.
“Our residents should feel good that their town leaders have been fiscally responsible with their tax dollars. Our leaders have responsibly balanced spending and saving during our town’s continued growth spurt,” Sumner said. “They’ve managed to spend wisely to maintain excellent infrastructure for our residents, while also maintaining a healthy rainy day fund to anticipate any possible future, less-ideal economic conditions.”
Because of the AA rating, Whitestown will receive better interest rates on bonds and loans, which Sumner said means needed services and infrastructure can be added with fewer tax dollars being spent. That, in turn, will help Whitestown continue to attract new businesses and residents.
“I think most companies are interested in investing in successful communities. Our strong credit rating should makes us more attractive to companies, small businesses and families looking to move to Whitestown,” she said. “Fiscally strong communities are going to have the money to keep up with needed road maintenance and other infrastructure improvements, like adding parks and green space, and those things are important to our residents and corporate residents alike.”