Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today that for the third time in two years, Pittsburgh's bond rating has been upgraded by international financial forecasters.
Moody's Investor Services released the news from their New York City headquarters today, upgrading the City's bond rating from Baa2 to Baa1. According to the international credit analyst, the decision to upgrade the City's bond status was driven by two years of fiscal surpluses and a projected third in 2008, reflecting that the City has grown its savings account by more than six times since 2004 to $89.5 million. The rating also reflects how the Mayor is leading the charge to address the challenges of long-term debt. After growing a substantial savings account, the Mayor pledged to not issue new debt, cutting debt payments in half by 2017.
"Today, top credit experts have told the world that Pittsburgh is a healthy place to invest in, showing us again that our responsible approach toward financial management is paying off in dividends," Ravenstahl said. "We've stopped the credit-card mentality of the past and right now we are reinvesting in our neighborhoods without borrowing from future generations."
Since obtaining office, Mayor Ravenstahl has sought to tackle the City's long-term legacy costs: debt, healthcare, and pension. The City transferred money from its savings account into a capital improvement fund, adopting a "pay-as-you-go" spending policy. In April of 2007, the Mayor consolidated the City's health-care providers, saving taxpayers $17 million over three years. The Mayor continues to work with elected officials and policy experts throughout the Commonwealth on the issue of pension reform.
In 2006, the City's bond rating was upgraded by Moody's for the first time in years and last December Standard & Poor upgraded the City's bond rating from bbb- to bbb.
"Under Mayor Ravenstahl's leadership, this City has and will continue to maintain its healthy financial position," said City Budget Director Scott Kunka. "This Mayor is doing everything in his power to restore Pittsburgh's financial health. From growing the City's savings account, to drastically reducing the City's long-term debt, to leading the charge for statewide pension reform - taxpayers can look toward a brighter future in Pittsburgh."
Monday, August 4, 2008
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687