Manager’s Update – Thursday, August 16, 2012
As Gilbert’s economy continues to thrive, the town is seeing another improvement in bond ratings. The better the rating, the more Gilbert can do to invest in and improve our community. Each bond initiative can get its own rating, like its own credit score.
Fitch Ratings Services increased our town’s bond rating from AA to AA+ for Gilbert Public Facility Municipal Property Corporation revenue bonds, which come from rental revenues paid by corporations. The organization also affirmed its ‘AA’ rating on Gilbert’s $2.5 million 2003 street and highway user revenue bonds. We are expecting to maintain this positive financial rating. According to Fitch, “The local economy has outpaced other communities in the Phoenix metropolitan area.”
The increase reflects Gilbert’s fast-growing economy when it comes to residential and business development, primarily in the health-tech industry. Fitch attributes the improved rating in part to the town’s low maximum debt, low unemployment and high growth rate.
To give an example, Gilbert accounted for 20 percent of Maricopa County’s building permits in 2011, while making up just 5 percent of the county’s total population. Because of our town’s fiscal responsibility in the face of a recession, business and development continue to thrive.
This isn’t even our first rating increase. A total of six bonds have increased in ratings since October 2011.