City of St. George receives stellar credit ratings of AA+ and AAA by Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings

“Unprecedented” rating makes City taxpayer money go further in funding for G.O. Bond, City Hall projects

Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P), one of the major rating agencies internationally, completed two credit reviews of the City of St. George — and the results are sure to stretch taxpayer dollars even further.

The City of St. George received an AA+ credit rating on the city’s anticipated $15.2 million (estimated proceeds) general obligation bond issuance for the 2023 Trails, Parks and Recreation G.O. Bond. This is the second-highest credit rating an organization can receive. As part of its evaluation S&P also reviewed the credit rating the City received on the sales tax bond issued in 2023 for the City Hall project. S&P informed the City it would receive a credit upgrade — to a AAA credit rating — on that issuance. The AAA credit rating is the best an organization can receive.

“This is awesome news for St. George and a clear indicator of our economy and fiduciary strength,” said Mayor Michele Randall. “It is unprecedented in our history to receive a AAA bond rating and there are only a handful of similar credit ratings across the state.”

The initial review by S&P was to determine the City’s credit worthiness on the proposed debt issuance for improvements included in the voter-approved G.O. Bond. The review by S&P included an in-depth look at the state and local economy, the city’s financial performance, financial practices and policies, among multiple other factors.

“The rating reflects the city’s very strong local economy that has demonstrated continued population and economic growth,” the S&P report stated. “Overall sales tax revenue collections have experienced year-over-year growth, and consumer spending has remained resilient despite increased inflationary pressures. Notably, sales tax revenues did not decline during either the pandemic or the last three fiscal years.”

Additionally, S&P highlighted several aspects of the City’s financial management.

●     “Very strong financial profile characterized by a track record of double-digit positive operating results … and maintenance of strong reserves.”

●     “Strong financial policies and practices, including long-term planning, that support financial stability, combined with a very strong institutional framework score.”

●     “Manageable debt burden and well-funded pension plans.” 

“Receiving these credit scores is a major achievement for the City,” added Robert Myers, Budget and Financial Planning Director for the City of St. George. “It speaks volumes about the excellent financial position of the City due to decisions made by previous and current city leadership and staff.  As we go out to the market over the next few weeks, this puts the city in a great position and will likely save taxpayers significant interest expense over the life of this debt issuance.”

About the City of St. George

St. George is the largest city in Washington County and the fifth-largest city in Utah with more than 100,000 residents. In recent years, people from across the United States have been attracted to St. George’s world class healthcare, active lifestyle, access to university education and proximity to unrivaled recreation. Scenic beauty abounds throughout the city and region including Snow Canyon State Park, Quail Creek and Sand Hollow Reservoirs, and Zion National Park. With an average of about 300 days of sunshine per year, the community welcomes all to live, work, play and eat and experience the ‘Brighter Side’ in St. George, Utah.