City of St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green announced today that Moody’s Investors Service upgraded St. Louis’ General Obligation (GO) rating from Baa1 to A3, with a stable outlook. Moody’s also upgraded its ratings on St. Louis Municipal Finance Corporation’s outstanding lease appropriation debt from Baa2 to Baa1 for more essential purposes and from Baa3 to Baa2 for less essential services.
The upgrades restore the city’s ratings held with Moody’s prior to the firm’s May 2018 downgrade.
“Strong fiscal management is a team effort. These rating upgrades reflect the steady work we have done as a city to build reserves and strengthen fiscal management,” said Comptroller Green.
“We are making progress, and we are fortunate that fiscal impacts from the coronavirus pandemic have not been as drastic as we feared. But the job is not complete—we must continue to work together as city leaders to find creative ways to spur development and grow revenue,” said Comptroller Green.
Moody’s rating upgrades reflect “the city’s materially improved financial profile following consecutive years of surplus operations coupled with a large, regionally important tax base.” Moody’s also cites the city’s improved reserves, which can “help mitigate potential challenges resulting from economic downturn or disruption caused by unforeseen events such as the coronavirus pandemic.”
On August 27, Comptroller Green announced that the City of St. Louis closed its fiscal year 2021 with an operating budget surplus of $31.9 million.
Comptroller Darlene Green is the chief fiscal officer of the City of St. Louis and is charged with safeguarding the city’s credit rating and with protecting taxpayer dollars. She is the recipient of the 2019 Women in Public Finance Lifetime Achievement award.