The bond ratings companies, Fitch and Standard & Poor, have reaffirmed the City’s General Obligation Bond ratings. Fitch assigns Garland a AAA rating and S&P assigns a AA+. Both agencies gave the City a “stable outlook.”
Positive comments contained in the ratings included the following:
Strong budget performance.
Very strong budget flexibility.
Very strong management with strong financial policies.
Long standing use of forward looking projections for all major funds, a CIP with identified funding sources that management updates annually, and the city’s strong overall internal controls for reporting and monitoring.
City’s liquidity position remained strong.
Management’s timely budget cuts and proactive oversight enabled the city to maintain a stable financial position…notably the city maintained this solid position without an increase in the total tax rate.
City’s operating reserve level has remained very strong and stable. Any surplus incurred in the operating funds have historically been allocated to one-time expenses in the following fiscal year.
Anchored by manufacturing and distribution, Garland’s overall economic base remains sound.
Economy was stronger due to the diverse commercial, retail and industrial development that stimulate the economic base.
We do not expect to revise the rating in the next two years because we believe the city will maintain strong reserves and continue to participate in the broad and diverse Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan MSA.
The ratings agencies adopted new and more analytical rating criteria this past year. Based on these new criteria, Garland continues to maintain its extremely high ratings, which allows the City of Garland to pay lower interest rates on the debt that it issues.
“The entire Garland City Council and City staff takes great pride in these ratings,” said Mayor Douglas Athas. “These ratings are a direct result of our willingness to make difficult decisions and to have a disciplined approach toward spending that ensures Garland’s financial integrity.”