Monday, November 30, 2015

Wall Street cheers Philly tax hikes, expense cuts, boosts credit rating to A-

S&P raises city from BBB+

Wall Street cheers Philly tax hikes, expense cuts, boosts credit rating to A-


Statement from S&P: "Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today it raised its long-term rating and underlying rating on Philadelphia's general obligation debt one notch to 'A-' from 'BBB+'." S&P also rated the city's 2013 general-obligation bonds A-. Higher-rated bonds typically can be sold at lower interest rates, saving the city money.

"The upgrade reflects our assessment of the city's progress in restoring its general fund balance through cost containment as well as stronger revenue streams," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Hilary Sutton said in a statement. SUP also boosted Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, Philadelphia Industrial Development Authority, Philadelphia Municipal Authority debt to A-.

Sutton praised Mayor Nutter's "proactive administration that has taken action to rebalance operations during a difficult recession, evidenced by surpluses in fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012 that have helped reverse a trend of general fund deficits," along with state oversight by Sam Katz's Pa. Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, and the city's increased reliance on hospitals and colleges as major employers. Though recession, high pension costs, and all the money borrowed under Mayors Rendell and Street continue to haunt the city's finances, she added. Nutter keeps on borrowing to refinance old debt and for new capital spending.

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About this blog

PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph at or 215 854 5194.

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