“A+” rating by Fitch and “A1” by Moody’s are maintained.
Citing recent economic development and “strong financial management,” Standard & Poor’s has upgraded the City of Buffalo’s bond rating to “A+” in its rating report released today.
We are pleased that Standard & Poor’s has recognized the progress the City of Buffalo has made, both financially and economically,” said Buffalo Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder. “This is an exciting time for Buffalo, and Wall Street has taken notice.”
Schroeder took analysts from Standard & Poor’s on a tour of Buffalo last May - with stops at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the waterfront, and Larkinville - in an effort to showcase the city’s economic development projects.
“I wanted the analysts to see first-hand the momentum our economy is experiencing,” said Schroeder, who enlisted Congressman Brian Higgins, Howard Zemsky, and Patrick Whalen, chief operating officer of the medical campus, as tour guides. “I believe they left here impressed with the direction the city is headed.”
In addition to noting the city’s “very strong reserve position,” Standard & Poor’s pointed out that “a number of development projects centering on health care and high-tech manufacturing are currently in progress…and could add to the city’s employment, tax base, and income levels in the long term.”
Schroeder also took Moody’s on a similar tour last year, and that rating agency affirmed its “A1” rating in its report released earlier this week. The city also maintained its “A+” rating with Fitch in its latest report.
The comptroller said the Buffalo’s ratings will work to the taxpayers’ advantage when he goes to the bond market next month to finance the city’s capital projects.
“We sell our bonds in a competitive bidding process,” said Schroeder. “Better ratings mean lower interest costs for taxpayers.”
The “A+” rating from Standard & Poor's is one notch higher than the “A” the city has received the previous three years.
“This upgrade represents the respect we have for city residents and sends a clear signal to the business community, the financial markets, and our many other partners that Buffalo is strong and getting even stronger,” said Mayor Byron W Brown, noting his administration’s continued commitment to prudent and conservative budgeting.
“We are creating investor confidence in Buffalo with strategic investments and I’m pleased that Standard & Poor’s has recognized our diligent efforts,” Brown added. “The upgrade reinforces the message of positive change in our city that includes $4.3 billion in new economic development activity. Buffalo is ready for the next wave of investment, job creation and growth.”