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City of Albuquerque Earns Top Financial Rating

S&P Global cites leadership, diverse economy for Triple A Bond Rating

Oct. 8, 2020

The City of Albuquerque has earned the top financial rating from Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings. S&P Global Ratings recently issued a ‘AAA’ long-term bond rating to the City’s ¼ Cent Transportation Tax Bond. City Council recently passed the bond which will allow for approximately $50 million in roadway specific infrastructure projects. The voter approved Transportation Infrastructure Gross Receipts Tax has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for city road rehabilitation, road maintenance, road deficiency repair and transit operations, since its inception in 2000.

“The pandemic has affected everyone financially, and that includes the City,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “But, Albuquerque is resilient. We got creative and found ways to save money while jumpstarting the economy with infrastructure projects. This report echoes that hard work, and continues to show that we are in a prime position economically, despite everything that has happened this year. Maintaining a strong standing through a long-term crisis will have positive ripple effects for Albuquerque’s working families and local businesses.”

Albuquerque’s diverse economic base, and steady GRT revenue were cited as the main drivers for the rating. S&P Global Ratings also praised the administration’s “strong management practices,” which “support stable financial reserves and balanced operations by taking advantage of revenue opportunities to offset growing expenditure pressures,” and acknowledged the adjustments made by the administration to cut expenditures in response to the pandemic.

“The favorable rating we received from S&P reflects the quick action we took to avoid a budgetary shortfall this year, and recognizes the strong growth of Albuquerque’s economy. We are in an advantageous position to issue these bonds,” said Sanjay Bhakta, Chief Financial Officer.

City Council passed the final list of projects under the ¼ cent Transportation Bond, which includes increasing road safety on East and West Central, Marquette, Rio Grande, San Pedro, Alameda, Wyoming and other major roads; adding lanes to Paseo Del Norte west of Calle Norteña; adding streetlights to major arterials; and upgrading ADA access throughout the City.

The full report can be viewed here.