Standard & Poor’s, one of the nations bond-rating agencies, recently raised Baltimore City’s bond rating from AA-minus to AA. This move should reduce interest payments on bonds and allow the City to borrow funds at lower rates.
As reported by the Baltimore Sun,
“The stable outlook reflects our opinion of the city’s maintenance of strong budgetary flexibility and liquidity due to its proactive management team and demonstrated willingness to cut expenditures to maintain balanced operations and at least adequate budgetary performance,” Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Timothy Barrett said in a statement.
City officials attribute the improvement in the rating to recent actions taken by the Rawlings-Blake administration.
Kevin Harris, the mayor’s spokesman, said the city’s 10-year financial plan has allowed Baltimore to emerge from the recession on stronger financial footing.
“This speaks volumes about the steps we’ve taken,” he said.
The mayor has made a series of decisions that have cut roughly $300 million from of the city’s long-term structural deficit of $750 million that was projected a few years ago. Among the changes intended to shore up the city’s finances has been requiring employees to contribute more to their pensions, reducing the size of the city’s workforce and vehicle fleet and asking firefighters to work longer hours.