Carmel’s debt refinancing boosted by Standard & Poor’s rating

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Staff report

Standard & Poor’s raised the Carmel Redevelopment Authority’s local income tax bond rating from “AA-” to “AA” on April 24 and affirmed the City of Carmel’s general bond rating at “AA+”  as part of a financial assessment in anticipation of bond sales to be conducted this week.

“The upgrade is based on improved debt service coverage, growing (county option income tax) revenues and the strength of the underlying economy,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Anna Uboytseva.

The ratings should save millions of dollars in interest payments, according to a news release from the city.

The ratings come as the Carmel Redevelopment Authority – the financing arm of the Carmel Redevelopment Commission – prepares for bond sales to refinance debt related to the construction of the Center for the Performing Arts.

“After an exhaustive look at our financial situation, I was very pleased that this independent rating agency recognized Carmel for our strong fiscal health,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. “We work very hard to constantly monitor the city’s financial health, working from a 10-year fiscal plan that is regularly updated and helps us be fiscally responsible when it comes to our redevelopment activity. These ratings confirm that Carmel remains a solid investment and continues to be focused in the right direction.”

The AA+ rating is S&P’s second highest rating. It is essentially a credit rating of the city.

“Thanks to this very positive bond rating, we are in position to get better interest rates on our bond sales, which continues to bolster our bottom line,” said Corrie Meyer, executive director of the CRC.

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