(Raleigh, N.C.) – State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA announced today that all three major national bond rating agencies have re-affirmed the state's “AAA" bond rating, noting the state's strong economy, growing reserves and conservative fiscal management. North Carolina is one of only 13 states that have an “AAA" rating from all major rating agencies.
The ratings were assigned in preparation for the second issuance of voter-approved General Obligation Public Improvement (Connect NC) Bonds totaling $2 billion for universities, community colleges, local parks, infrastructure and other projects. The prior issuance of $200 million occurred in 2016. This issuance will be for $400 million and is expected to be offered on July 18.
“Having these 'AAA' ratings ensures that we can borrow money at the lowest possible rates, which results in the state having more buying power," said Treasurer Folwell. “Ultimately, the credit for these ratings goes to the taxpayers of North Carolina and the North Carolina General Assembly for their strong fiscal management."
The agencies all affirmed the ratings with knowledge that the General Assembly has placed a constitutional amendment on next November's ballot capping the state's income tax rate at no higher than 7 percent from its current 10 percent limitation. S&P Global Ratings noted in their summary that they “… do not expect voter approval of the reduction to have a rating impact."
Other highlights include:
- S&P Global Ratings noted North Carolina's establishment of the first-ever Solvency Fund to address the state's nearly $50 billion in health care and pension IOU's.
- Moody's Investors Service noted the state's strong, conservative fiscal management.
- Fitch Ratings referenced North Carolina's exceptionally strong ability to close budget gaps during economic downturns.
The N.C. Department of State Treasurer's State and Local Government Finance Division manages the sale and delivery of all state and local debt and monitors the repayment of state and local government debt. More information can be found at http://www.nctreasurer.com/slg