City of Portland Retains Aaa Credit Rating

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Portland, Ore.—This month, Moody’s Investors Services affirmed the City of Portland’s Aaa credit rating and stable outlook. The Aaa rating is the strongest possible rating category, identifying the City’s bonds to be of the highest quality with minimal risk. The strong credit rating was determined as part of a larger assessment of the city’s financial and economic performance. The Aaa bond rating allows the City of Portland to attain the most advantageous borrowing costs available, ensuring that we can continue to invest in the community and infrastructure that make Portland a vibrant city.

According to the report’s rating outlook, “the stable outlook on the city's long-term ratings reflects the expectation that Portland's finances will remain healthy in the near term despite continued projected general fund balance draw downs. Strong governance and fiscal policies support the city's ability to adjust operations and match recurring revenues with recurring expenditures.”

“Simply put—the higher your rating, the lower your borrowing costs,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “This report affirms that we are saving significant money, and I am pleased to have the ‘Aaa opinion’ on the City’s financials and management efforts from an independent credit rating agency. This achievement is a testament to the exceptional work of our Office of Management & Finance, especially the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services team.”

The report lists credit strengths for the city including, “healthy long-term economic fundamentals (including strong tax base growth), strong finances buttressed by robust management practices with adopted policies, and a voter-approved dedicated property tax to fund the legacy pension system.”

On the list of credit challenges, the report noted downtown recovery. Portland’s central city has been a constant priority for Mayor Wheeler and his team. You can learn more about the Mayor’s downtown recovery plan here.

Earlier this year, Mayor Wheeler joined Governor Tina Kotek and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson to declare a 90-day fentanyl emergency ordinance to coordinate resources in Portland’s central city. The incident command team releases regular updates which can be found here.