April 3, 2014 - Fitch Ratings has affirmed its AAA rating on two series of outstanding general obligation bonds of the City of Knoxville. The series total $87 million in bonds.
According to Fitch Ratings, in citing its key rating drivers, "Knoxville's sound operating results and solid reserve levels are the result of its strong financial management, prudent fiscal policies and history of conservative budgeting practices."
A high level of liquidity is also cited: "Consistent high levels of reserves and cash balances bolster the city's financial flexibility."
Other factors include the city's broad economy, affordable debt burden and well-managed pension obligations.
A press release from Fitch Ratings, with more details of the AAA rating, is attached.
The City currently has its highest credit ratings ever from the three major credit rating agencies: AA1 from Moody's, AA+ from S&P, and AAA from Fitch. Those represent the second-highest possible ratings from Moody's and S&P, and the highest possible rating from Fitch.
"I'm very pleased with the ratings," Mayor Madeline Rogero said. "Our excellent credit ratings attest that the City of Knoxville is in strong financial shape.
"We are carefully handling expenditures and taking constructive steps to pay down liabilities while providing great City services and strategically investing to leverage private investment. The Fitch rating indicates we're managing our finances well."